Differences in preferences for rural job postings between nursing students and practicing nurses: evidence from a discrete choice experiment in Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Tulenko, Kate; Wurts, Laura; Phachanh, Inpong Thong; Phathammavong, Cahnthakhath; Vangkonevilay, Phouthone; Phathammavong, Outavong; Kruk, Margaret E.; Rockers, Peter C.; Jaskiewicz, Wanda

Background: A discrete choice experiment was conducted to investigate preferences for job characteristics among nursing students and practicing nurses to determine how these groups vary in their respective preferences and to understand whether differing policies may be appropriate for each group. Methods: Participating students and workers were administered a discrete choice experiment that elicited preferences for attributes of potential job postings. Job attributes included salary, duration of service until promotion to permanent staff, duration of service until qualified for further study and scholarship, housing provision, transportation provision, and performance-based financial rewards. Mixed logit models were fit to the data to estimate stated preferences and willingness to pay for attributes. Finally, an interaction model was fit to formally investigate differences in preferences between nursing students and practicing nurses. Results: Data were collected from 256 nursing students and 249 practicing nurses. For both groups, choice of job posting was strongly influenced by salary and direct promotion to permanent staff. As compared to nursing students, practicing nurses had significantly lower preference for housing allowance and housing provision as well as lower preference for provision of transportation for work and personal use. Conclusions: In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, nursing students and practicing nurses demonstrated important differences in their respective preferences for rural job posting attributes. This finding suggests that it may be important to differentiate between recruitment and retention policies when addressing human resources for health challenges in developing countries, such as Laos.

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Also Published In

Human Resources for Health

More About This Work

Academic Units
Mailman School of Public Health
BioMed Central
Published Here
September 8, 2014


Nursing, Human resources for health, Attraction, Retention, Discrete choice experiment, Laos People’s Democratic Republic