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By using an ethnographic approach, this paper explores the perceptions of nursing among the non-English-speaking background high school students in Sydney, and describes how the nursing profession could be promoted to them. A volunteer sample of four groups of high school students with parents from Lebanon, Vietnam, Korea and mainland China were recruited. In-depth focus group interviews were conducted. Through constant comparison of categories, 10 concepts emerged from the three major themes to describe the students' career preferences and their influencing factors; their image of nursing and their suggestions on how nursing could be promoted to them. These findings highlighted the significance of social, cultural and political factors that influenced the students' perceptions of nursing and their career choice. Implications and suggestions for marketing and recruitment strategies are discussed.