National study to track career changes among newly licensed registered nurses (Phase 2)

Graduates from nursing programs who become newly licensed registered nurses (NLRN) are essential to balance the supply of and demand for RNs, especially in hospitals. However, little is known about the reasons for the work choices of NLRN; how long they stay in nursing or why they leave; where they go when they change jobs; or why they seek or don't seek additional education. This information is essential to help hospital administrators maximize their nursing workforce. Turnover is a major issue for most hospitals. The purpose of this project is to develop a national measure of turnover, not at just one hospital or health system. The answers are important to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as it seeks solutions to the nurse faculty shortage. There is no other study that tracks NLRNs over time to explore these issues.This grant renews an existing project to identify a panel of nurses to contact over five years for information about their work experience and career moves. It is important to track these same nurses for five more years. Following the same nurses for 10 years will provide an unprecedented opportunity to learn about factors associated with their actions, in great detail. We will learn what happens to nurses who admit to being unhappy and wanting to leave their jobs. Do they actually leave? What were the most important factors in the decision? And where do they go? We already see from the first wave of the survey that many nurses start with two jobs and often leave one of those jobs. Extending this work to track nurses in the first ten years of their careers will provide additional information, not only about work experience but about decisions to go on for further education. Information gained from this project will inform both RWJF staff and nursing schools in designing programs to help encourage more nurses to seek higher education and the nursing field in general to invest in workplace changes to keep nurses at the bedside. Hospital administrators and nurse executives will benefit from the knowledge gained about hospital programs aimed at new nurses, such as mentoring and extended orientation programs.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $4,100,511.00

Awarded on: 2/15/2008

Time frame: 2/15/2008 - 1/31/2017

Grant Number: 57992


New York University College of Nursing

726 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, 10003-9502


Christine Tassone Kovner
Project Director


Carol S. Brewer
Project Director