Can education resolve nursing shortage in China?

Sheila Rodgers, Junhong Zhu, Kath Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The paper aims to understand how the Chinese nursing education and recruitment policy impacts nurses to leave nursing practice. There is a lack of feasible strategies to maintain a sustainable effective nursing workforce with an increasing trend of nurses' leaving clinical care. In its efforts to resolve the nursing shortage, the Chinese government currently emphasizes expanding nursing education while controlling staffing ratios. This qualitative research design was based on the framework of symbolic interactionism. The in-depth interviews with 19 nurses who have left the nursing practice were theoretically sampled from one provincial capital city in China. The core category "Mismatched Expectations: Individual vs. Organization" emerged from five subcategories, which illustrates how the mismatched individual and organizational expectations of nursing were created through nurses educational and employment processes within the Chinese health care system. When the individual and organizational expectations of nursing are highly mismatched, there is a risk that highly educated nurses will leave nursing practice. Students should be enabled to have realistic expectations of nursing, and new graduates need sufficient supports to adapt to the health care environment without losing their vision of nursing for future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages23
JournalAthens Journal of Health
Volume2
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • China
  • recruitment
  • nursing education
  • nursing shortage

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