School of Nursing

Practicum Profile

Changes in Student Nurses’ Profile

In the past, most nursing students were single females in late adolescence.

  • Developmental tasks included
    • Career and marriage decisions
    • Separation from parents
    • Establishing an independent lifestyle
    • Achieving financial independence
  • Motivators included:
    • Desire for approval
    • Building self-esteem
    • Achieving success
  • Rarely realized demands culture of nursing would make on their lives

More recently, the majority of nursing students are older adult learners of both sexes with midlife developmental issues:

  • Developmental tasks may include:
    • Establishing career after raising children
    • Second career pursuits
  • Motivation is derived from:
    • Often choose nursing for intrinsic rewards as well as seeking financial stability in a career perceived as "always in demand."
    • Often recognize upward mobility potential and may be considering advanced practice or administration from onset of education.
  • Life experiences may make it harder to accept a student role. Need to feel "credited" for prior experience/knowledge
  • May have many recent life changes including marriage/divorce, birth of children, death or disability of parents, are confronting own mortality, recognizing own physical changes
  • Frequently are juggling many responsibilities, making student role not always first priority-children, day care, elderly parents, full or part time employment