Background of the Study
Career education and career guidance are becoming high priority items in the state and national education plans in Nigeria. Many experts in the area of science career guidance seem to see student career development as unifying theme and primary goal of career education effort Olayinka, (2003). The importance of career guidance for Nigeria students had not been sufficiently appreciated, Nigerian’s economy future will be adequately met if youths are guided effectively into area of occupational education for the acquisition of functional knowledge and the better utilization of the nation manpower resources.
Career choice in Nigeria secondary schools can make a substantial contribution in drawing upon students’ background and experience. Students will be able to adjust better to the influence and circumstances of their immediate environment. A researcher contends that career choice help students to be more interested in their respective courses, also by stimulating their hope and aspiration, career choice can help the students discover their later capacity and abilities (Alutu, 2001).
Denga, (2001) opine that the choice of a career is based on some motivating factors which an individual considers to be crucial to his satisfaction and performance on a job. The person may be motivated by extrinsic factors such as parents, teachers, counsellors and a few significant others, high salary, societal influence, environmental pressures, chance, and mass media. It could also be that the pressures on them are mainly internal such as interest, ability utilization, altruistic reasons, values, physique and sex. In Nigeria, it is unfortunate to notice that many inappropriate career choices have been made by youngsters because of ignorance and illiteracy on their part, on one hand; and that of their parents, on the other. Some parents tend to have a fixed idea of the career choice of their children should choose irrespective of the child’s intelligence, interest and other capabilities. Such wrong choices, whether due to parental pressures or some other considerations, have driven the youth into untold psychological problems, some of which have marred their future prospects.
The choice of a career, of subjects and courses in schools, is one of the most difficult decisions in a person’s life. Anastasi and Urbina (2003) observe that few areas of life are as important to people as their occupations, not only because of the much time spent at work but also because work can provide opportunities for many intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Infact, Denga (2001) notes that career choice involves a person’s total life because it determines his income, his choice of friends, his pattern of dress, his influence in society, and very often, the amount of risk to which he is exposed. Career choice guidance thus becomes an utmost necessity in schools so that the youth can be properly assisted inmaking realistic and appropriate career decisions.
In a profession like nursing or midwifery, the training programme is most concerned with developing as fully as possible each trainee’s potentialities as a nurse or midwife. The choice of such a career should therefore be based on variables possessed by an individual that would enhance practice if finally admitted into the training programme.
In his study, Denga (2001) had stressed that somebody being selected into the nursing training programme must have the greatest potentials for effective nursing. These potentials, according to him, derive not only from the cognitive but also from the affective and psychomotor behaviours. Thus any force motivating the choice of the nursing career must not just be external but must include intrinsic factors, especially the possession of the required traits, which play a dominant role in the career decision-making. He had noted with dismay a situation where decisions for admission or rejection of applicants into nursing training programmes in many states of the Nigerian federation, had been based on the possession of secondary school certificate or its equivalent, entrance examination scores, interview, and other intellective variables.
The above admission practice totally disregards possession of affective characteristics needed in moulding a nurse or other health-care professional. Such aforementioned qualities include respect for the worth and dignity of human life, interest in people, social maturity, sensitivity to others’ attitudes and reactions, sympathetic attitude, friendliness, patience and tolerance, to mention a few.
This study was borne out of this unhealthy development, and intends to find out what factors actually necessitated the choice of the nursing career among the nurses, with a view to determining what guidance programmes can be mounted to help them successfully manage problems of wrong career choice. This study was therefore an investigation into the motivational factors in the choice of the nursing career in Ekiti State Teaching Hospital; implications for counselling.
Statement of the Problem
Many young people including students are often not sufficiently knowledgeable about themselves, about theirlabilities, and about the world of work around them(Kinanee, 2004). Furthermore, there are variables thatseem to appeal more to them in the choice of a career than the ones that should be given utmost priority. Thesefactors include desire for high salaries and job security,prestige, parental expectations, to mention a few (Nwachuku, 2007).
The need to assess young people’s vocational interests,abilities, aptitudes and other personality variablesin Nigeria, as in other parts of the world, cannot beoveremphasized. Assessment of such behavioural characteristics is the starting point for an individual whois planning to choose or make a change in career pattern(Salami, 2002). The use of psychological tests in vocationalcounselling is thus an important aspect of counseling as it helps both the counsellor and the client toknow the next step to take.
Career choice has remained a mirage to the school leavers and students, the probable causes of this situation in the society are the main concern of this study.