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Rural nursing: what difference does personality make?

Rural and remote communities face many unique challenges when it comes to healthcare. Well publicised is the fact that those living in these areas are at higher risk of major disease than their metropolitan counterparts.

Access is a key barrier to good health, with people in rural areas more likely to report not having a regular GP (20 per cent compared with 3 per cent for people in major cities) and overall, nurses are key to bridging these gaps.

With these issues, coupled with ongoing difficulties recruiting and retaining nurses in these areas, academics have looked into ways in which universities and health services can identify people suited to working in rural towns.

Dr Daniel Terry, from Federation University’s School of Nursing Midwifery and Healthcare, and his colleagues tried to identify the personality traits that might make someone perfect for rural nursing.

Terry hopes the insights found in the study might enhance recruitment strategies and he spoke with Nursing Review about what personalities make a good rural nurse.

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