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nurse attrition, nurse recruitment/retention, nurse shortage, nurse turnover



  1. Crow, Stephen M. BS, MS, PhD
  2. Smith, Steven A. PhD
  3. Hartman, Sandra J. PhD


Problems with attracting and retaining nurses during a tight labor market are compounded by some fundamental issues related to attrition from the field. It is important to recognize that, of the students who graduate from nursing schools each year and enter the field of nursing, significant attrition occurs during the first 5 years in the profession [ (2002)]. This article uses data from the National Science Foundation's National Survey of College Graduates to examine various scenarios and possible reasons for why some nurses abandon their careers [ (2003)]. In doing so, we consider entry into, and attrition from, the nursing profession at various stages. Using data from the National Survey of College Graduates, the initial evaluation suggests that, at points during the career, the individual confronts potential problems and issues which can lead to career attrition.