Bachelor of nursing students’ attitude towards people with mental illness and career choices in psychiatric nursing. An Indian perspective

  • Vijayalakshmi Poreddi RN, RM, BSN,MSN. College of Nursing, Department of Nursing, National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences, India. email:
  • Rohini Thimmaiah MBBS,MD. Department of Psychiatry, Videhi Medical College, Bangalore, India. email:
  • Rama Chandra RN,RM, BSN,MSN, Ph.D. College of Nursing, Department of Nursing, National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences, India. email:
  • Suresh BadaMath MBBS, MD. Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences, India. email:
Keywords: Attitude, curriculum, students, nursing, mental health.


Objective. To examine undergraduate nursing students’ attitudes toward people with mental illness and mental health nursing.

Methodology. This was a cross sectional descriptive study carried out among conveniently selected nursing students (N=116). Data was collected through self- reported questionnaires.

Results: Majority of the participants agreed that the theoretical (81.1%) and clinical placement (85.4%) was adequate. Similarly, 62.9% would like to apply for a post-basic program in Psychiatric nursing and 69.8% of the students intend to pursue their career as mental health nurses. However, a majority expressed that people with mental illness are unpredictable (80.2%), cannot handle too much responsibility (71.5%), more likely to commit offences or crimes (84.5%) and more likely to be violent (44%). Negative stereotype domain had significant relationships with future career (r=-0.2, p= 0.003), course effectiveness (r=-0.4, p<0.001), valuable contribution (r=-0.3, p<0.001) and readiness of the students (r=-.3, p<.000) domains.

Conclusion. There is an urgent need to address these negative perceptions among nursing students towards people with mental illness. Innovative teaching strategies and appropriate changes in the nursing curriculum is required to prepare future nurses to deal mental health problems effectively. 


How to cite this article: Poreddi V, Thimmaiah R, Chandra R, BadaMath S. Bachelor of nursing students’ attitude towards people with mental illness and career choices in psychiatric nursing. An Indian perspective. Invest Educ Enferm. 2015; 33(1):

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How to Cite
Poreddi, V., Thimmaiah, R., Chandra, R., & BadaMath, S. (2015). Bachelor of nursing students’ attitude towards people with mental illness and career choices in psychiatric nursing. An Indian perspective. Investigación Y Educación En Enfermería, 33(1). Retrieved from