Exploration into the recruitment of South Asian nurses

William Daly, L Swindlehurst, P Johal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Nursing is currently striving to ensure that its body of practitioners is reflective of the cultural diversity that exists in the population of healthcare consumers it serves. This is perceived as desirable to reflect and accommodate cultural differences within ethnic communities. The aim of this study was to investigate the rationale for the low recruitment of young South Asian people into nursing and midwifery education from an area of rich cultural diversity in the West Midlands. A triangulated approach was used involving four phases and sources of data collection. The study participants included students from secondary school (n = 70), parents of young South Asian students, career advisers and a small group of South Asian nurse practitioners. Data collection involved focus group interviews and a postal questionnaire for parents. The data revealed that very few young South Asian females and fewer young South Asian males had ever considered a career in nursing. The students' insight into the nature and scope of nursing as a profession was limited and based upon several misconceptions. Interaction with South Asian nursing role models was virtually non-existent. Their views of the physical, social and psychological demands placed on nurses made nursing an unattractive career option. Portrayals of an NHS in turmoil contributed to this view. Cultural issues also created problems for some students such as uniform policies and caring for the opposite gender. Further work needs to be undertaken to raise the profile of nursing and midwifery as a career option for young South Asian people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-696
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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