Allen M. The SAGE Encyclopaedia of Communication Research Methods.Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications; 2017

Arias E. How does media influence social norms? Experimental Evidence on the role of common knowledge. Political Science and Research Methods. 2018; 7:(3)561-578

Arveklev SH, Berg L, Wigert H, Morrison-Helme M, Lepp M. Nursing students experiences of learning about nursing through drama. Nurse Educ Pract. 2018; 28:60-65

Barrett D, Heale R. COVID-19: reflections on its impact on nursing. Evid Based Nurs. 2021; 24:(4)112-113

Bloomfield JG, Gordon CJ, Williams AM, Aggar C. Nursing students' intentions to enter primary health care as a career option: findings from a national survey. Collegian. 2015; 22:(2)161-167

Bowrey S, Thompson JP. Nursing research: ethics, consent and good practice. Nurs Times. 2014; 110:(1-3)20-23

Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol. 2006; 3:(2)77-101

Falling short: the NHS workforce challenge Workforce profile and trends of the NHS in England. 2019a. (accessed 9 March 2022)

A critical moment: NHS staffing trends, retention and attrition. 2019b. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Cable C, Dickson C, Morris G. Inspiring undergraduates towards a career in community nursing. Nurs Manage. 2015; 22:(6)18-25

Creswell JW, Clark VLP. Designing and conducting mixed methods research.Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications; 2017

Department of Health and Social Care. Prevention is better than cure: our vision to help you live well for longer. 2018. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Department of Health and Social Care. NHS Long Term Plan. 2019a. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Department of Health and Social Care. Advancing Our health: prevention in the 2020s. 2019b. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Emeghebo L. The image of nursing as perceived by nurses. Nurse Educ Today. 2012; 32:(6)e49-e53

Community workforce ‘must grow 20%’ to shift care out of hospitals. 2019. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Glerean N, Hupli M, Talman K, Haavisto E. Young peoples' perceptions of the nursing profession: an integrative review. Nurse Educ Today. 2017; 57:95-102

Green J, Doyle C, Hayes S, Newnham W, Hill S, Zeller I, Graffin M, Goddard G. District and community nursing—‘still doing what we do’ through the pandemic. Br J Community Nurs. 2020; 25:(8)388-389

Haddad LM, Annamaraju P, Toney-Butler TJ. Nursing shortage.Treasure Island, FL: Stat Pearls; 2022

Harris J, Nimmo S, Holland K. Placement learning in community nursing: a guide for students in practice.Edinburgh: Baillière Tindall; 2013

Health Education England. Career framework. 2022. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Hill B. Protecting student nurses is crucial to saving the nursing workforce. Br J Nurs. 2020; 29:(13)

Holloway I, Galvin K. Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare, 4th ed. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons; 2017

Institute of Health Visiting in Practice. Three years on from a move to local authority commissioning in england, what has changed? Results from a survey of English health visitors. 2018. (accessed 9 March 2022)

King N. Using templates in the thematic analysis of text. In: Cassell C, Symon G (eds). London, UK: SAGE Publications; 2004

King's Fund. Community health services explained. 2019. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Coronavirus: changing the face of nursing. 2020. (accessed 22 March 2022)

MacLean L, Hassmiller S, Shaffer F, Rohrbaugh K, Collier T, Fairman J. Scale, causes, and implications of the primary care nursing shortage. Annu Rev Public Health. 2014; 35:(1)443-457

McAllister M, Downer T, Hanson J, Oprescu F. Transformers: changing the face of nursing and midwifery in the media. Nurse Educ Pract. 2014; 14:(2)148-153

McCann TV, Clark E, Lu S. Bachelor of Nursing students career choices: a three-year longitudinal study. Nurse Educ Today. 2010; 30:(1)31-36

Mohammed S, Peter E, Killackey T, Maciver J. The ‘nurse as hero’ discourse in the COVID-19 pandemic: a poststructural discourse analysis. Int J Nurs Stud. 2021; 117

Murad MH., Katabi A, Benkhadra R, Montori VM. External validity, generalisability, applicability and directness: a brief primer. BMJ Evid-Based Med. 2018; 23:(1)

National Audit Office. The NHS nursing workforce. 2020. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Norman KM. The image of community nursing: implications for future student nurse recruitment. Br J Community Nurs. 2015; 20:(1)12-18

Nowell LS, Norris JM, White DE, Moules NJ. Thematic analysis. Int J Qual Methods. 2017; 16:(1)

Nursing and Midwifery Council. Realising professionalism: standards for education and training. Part 3: Standards for pre-registration nursing programme. 2018. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Porteous DJ, Machin A. The lived experience of first year undergraduate student nurses: a hermeneutic phenomenological study. Nurse Educ Today. 2018; 60:56-61

Royal College of Nursing. The UK nursing labour market review 2018. 2017. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Facing the Future Audit 2017: Facing the Future: Standards for acute general paediatric services. Facing the future: together for child health. 2018. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Seitovirta J, Lehtimäki AV, Vehviläinen-Julkunen K, Mitronen L, Kvist T. Registered nurses' perceptions of rewarding and its significance. J Nurs Manag. 2018; 26:(4)457-466

Slattery MJ, Logan BL, Mudge B, Secore K, von Reyn LJ, Maue RA. An undergraduate research fellowship program to prepare nursing students for future workforce roles. J Prof Nurs. 2016; 32:(6)412-420

Stilwell B. Our chance to raise the status of nurses. Nurs Stand. 2019; 34:(3)

Timmins F, King C, de Vries JMA, Johnson M, Cullen JG, Haigh C. Altruism, honesty and religiosity in nursing students. J Clin Nurs. 2018; 27:(19-20)3687-3698

University and Colleges Admissions Service. Nursing applications SOAR as UCAS publishes latest undergraduate applicant analysis. 2021. (accessed 9 March 2022)

Vaismoradi M, Jones J, Turunen H, Snelgrove S. Theme development in qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis. J Nurs Educ Pract. 2016; 6:(5)

van Iersel M, Latour CHM, de Vos R, Kirschner PA, Scholte op Reimer WJM. Nursing students' perceptions of community care and other areas of nursing practice—a review of the literature. Int J Nurs Stud. 2016; 61:1-19

van Iersel M, Latour CHM, de Vos R, Kirschner PA, Scholte op Reimer WJM. Perceptions of community care and placement preferences in first-year nursing students: a multicentre, cross-sectional study. Nurse Educ Today. 2018; 60:92-97

Weaver R, Salamonson Y, Koch J, Jackson D. Nursing on television: student perceptions of television's role in public image, recruitment and education. J Adv Nurs. 2013; 69:(12)2635-2643

World Health Organization. State of the World's Nursing Report—2020. 2020a. (accessed 9 March 2022)

World Health Organization. The year of the nurse and midwife 2020. 2020b. (accessed 9 March 2022)

First year pre-registration nursing student perceptions of community nursing roles: a thematic analysis

02 April 2022
Volume 27 · Issue 4


Nursing is the largest qualified professional workforce in the UK, with TV programmes, films, books and other media sources frequently informing the general public's views of nursing roles. This study examines first year pre-registration nursing students' perceptions of community nursing roles, using a qualitative design and questionnaire. Participants included pre-registration nursing students from a university in north west England: a mean of 240 and 68.5% across all questions. Of those invited, 267 were adult nursing students; 53 were mental health nursing students; and 30 were child nursing students. Data were collected using an online questionnaire across two groups and analysed thematically. Four questions were considered relating to students' knowledge of community nursing. Results uncovered knowledge gaps, and community roles were perceived to be less dynamic than secondary care roles, correlating to clinical tasks and popularised media sources. Results provided insight into student nurse perceptions, offering an understanding from which to construct a more inclusive, community-focused nursing curriculum.

Nursing is often considered a rewarding career, with many opportunities to develop personally and professionally (Seitovirta et al, 2018). Perceptions of nursing roles are frequently informed by peripheral sources, which may create an unrealistic image of the contemporary nurse for students embarking upon their professional journey (Glerean et al, 2017). Pre-registration nursing education can provide an opportunity to develop role modelling, generate a sense of belonging to a profession, and may act as a critical foundation for both future academic and clinical experiences (Hill, 2020). Student nurses are the future of the nursing workforce and, as such, must be prepared for complex roles, which may manifest in a different way in reality than portrayed by external media (Slattery et al, 2016).

This study examines the perceptions of a cohort of pre-registration student nurses relating to community nursing roles, to establish their understanding of the diverse nursing roles to be found in the community setting. Students' underpinning knowledge is instrumental in managing personal expectations; their consideration of future placement learning opportunities; and in preparing them for their role in a professional workforce over the course of undergraduate education. These research findings may help to inform development of the current curricula to incorporate community care as an attractive future career option and enhance the student experience for pre-registration nurses.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Community Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for district and community nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month