AbstractBackground. As a strategy to promote access to quality health services, including psychiatric nursing, compulsory community service for nurses was
introduced in January 2008.
Objective. To determine the factors impacting the KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing (KZNCN) student nurses’ selection of psychiatric hospitals as their
placement areas for community service.
Methods. A quantitative, exploratory, descriptive research design was adopted. Convenience sampling was used to select 125 respondents from six
campuses of KZNCN. An electronic 5-point Likert scale-based self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. SPSS version 26 (IBM Corp.,
USA) was used for data analysis.
Results. The study found that the following factors impacted the selection of psychiatric hospitals for community service: insufficient time allocated for
the practice of psychiatry during training; fear of exposure to threat; poor infrastructure and scarce facilities; and insufficient danger allowance.
Conclusion. A positive practice environment should be created in psychiatric hospitals to attract student nurses and retain them in the psychiatric
environment after community service.
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