Work Settings, Education, and Intent to Leave Practice among Rural vs. Urban Nurses

Research center:
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Project funded:
September 2022
Anticipated completion date:
January 2024

The U.S. has long faced a shortage of nurses that has been projected to grow to 500,000 by the year 2030. Large numbers of nurses leaving the workforce because of burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this shortage. Yet, very little research has profiled and compared rural and urban nurses.

We will analyze data from the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The survey sample is from the NCSBN's licensure database of all actively licensed nurses in the U.S. and includes questions assessing demographics, highest level of nursing education, type of nursing license, work setting, multi-state licensure, telehealth use, income, and intent to leave practice.

The study will inform policymakers about where rural nurses work, their levels of training, and likelihoods of leaving practice. These findings could be applied to implement policies aimed at increasing nursing school output and attracting nurses to practice in rural areas.