Background: In order to target new recruits or future generation of ethnic minority nurses about their potential fit in nursing, it is necessary to understand their perceptions of the profession. Successful recruitment of high school students into nursing in part requires congruency between perceptions of an ideal career and perceptions of nursing as a career. The purposes of this study were to compare ethnic minority high school students in the USA and in Israel on their perceptions of nursing as a career, and to understand how those perceptions compare to their perceptions of an ideal career. Design: A descriptive quantitative design was employed to study a sample of 330 ethnic minority high school students from the USA and from Israel. Methods: The Mann-Whitney U procedure was used to compare the groups' perceptions; a two-sided Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks test was used to determine the differences between their perceptions of an ideal career and of nursing as a career. Results: The USA students had more positive perceptions of nursing as a career than did the Israeli students. Both groups of students did not perceive nursing as an ideal career: They perceived nurses as hard workers, performing arduous tasks and busy work, not academically challenged, with limited opportunity for leadership and autonomy, and earning less money than they would want in an ideal career. Caring for others was a highly valued attribute for an ideal career and for nursing as a career. Conclusion: A minority career development plan that underscores the positive attributes of nursing should be designed in both the USA and in Israel for ethnic minority high school students. The plan should effectively communicate nursing as a caring profession that is academically rigorous and intellectually challenging with available leadership opportunities in institutions and society.
- Ideal career
- Minority high school students
- Nursing career choice
- United States