Negative attitudes towards mental illness is leading to fewer student nurses pursuing a career in mental health, a nursing professor has said.
Vice President of the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing (ACMHN) Professor John Hurley said the stigma is a major barrier in attracting undergraduates to specialise in mental health.
Studies consistently find that many nursing students rate mental health as their least preferred career choice.
“Mental illness has been historically stigmatised and this extends to those offering care,” professor Hurley said.
Professor Hurley said the the lack of clinical placements and inadequate education was ‘a leadership issue’ that poorly prepared or encouraged undergraduates in specialising in mental health.
Nursing Review spoke with professor Hurley, who also works as a clinically credentialed nurse in Coffs Harbour and a lecturer at Southern Cross University.
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