Nurses Who Do Not Nurse: Factors that Predict Non-Nursing Work in the U.S. Registered Nursing Labor Market


Lisa Black, Joanne Spetz, Charlene Harrington

Jul. 01, 2010

Registered nurses (RNs) who work outside of nursing have seldom been examined. This aim of this study was to compare the 122,178 (4%) of RNs who are employed outside of nursing to those who work in nursing jobs in terms of sociodemographic, market, and political variables to determine if these groups are substantively different from one another. Using a logit regression model, wages were a significant predictor of working outside of nursing for unmarried nurses but not for married nurses. Married and unmarried male nurses were more likely to work outside of nursing. Baccalaureate education, children under age 6, higher family income, and years since graduation increased the odds of working outside of nursing for married nurses. Ultimately, identifying characteristics on which these groups differ may inform future policy directions that could target nurses who may leave nursing at a time when retention efforts might be effective to alter their trajectory away from the profession.