‘There's kind of a route that would suit anyone’: A qualitative study of the perceived barriers and facilitators to considering a career in mental health

Karen McKenzie, Matthew Cooper, Rachel Martin, Kara Murray, Clare Baguley, Andra Chiscop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research Aims: There is a significant shortfall of mental health (MH) nurses in the United Kingdom, but little is known about the factors which influence recruitment. The study aimed to explore the facilitators and barriers to individuals considering a career in MH, with a particular focus on nursing.
Methods: This qualitative study conducted semi-structured interviews with 28 participants to obtain their views about undertaking a MH career. The data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Findings: The main factors which encouraged participants to consider a MH career were an interest in, and desire to help other people, along with developing a more informed view of the role, often through direct experience. The main barriers were limited knowledge about the available career options, training routes, and pay and conditions; the perceived stressful nature of the job; and barriers to diversity, such as socio-economic status.
Conclusion: Identifying facilitators and barriers can help inform strategies to recruit MH nurses. The results highlight the need for more targeted careers information, recruitment strategies that stress the helping nature of the specialty; provision of opportunities for direct experience; and clear communication about explicit strategies for stress management.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing Times
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Oct 2020

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