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NYU College of Nursing researcher awarded $4.1M grant to study nurses' work decisions

New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN), has received an eight-year, $4.1 million year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) in order to track changes in their careers. The new grant extends from 4 to 10 the number of years these nurses will be studied. The grant also adds funding to study two new cohorts of NLRNs and to survey new nurses about the quality of patient-care education.

Following the same nurses for the first 10 years of their careers will provide an unprecedented opportunity to learn about how they make decisions about their work, said NYUCNs Christine Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN, the studys principal investigator.

In the face of continuing nursing shortages, which are projected to top 340,000 by 2020, exploring the conditions that influence nurses to remain in, or leave, their positions will be vital to informing health care organizations and policymakers efforts to retain qualified RNs and improve the environments in which they work.

This grant continues our work about the work patterns of new RNs over time that is particularly important both to the nursing profession and to our health care system," said co-principal investigator Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN, associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University at Buffalo in New York.

Findings from the current research, Newly Licensed RNs Characteristics, Work Attitudes, and Intentions to Work, were published in the September 2007 issue of the American Journal of Nursing. The sample included new RNs in the District of Columbia and 34 states. A total of 3,266 nurses completed the first survey. Data were gathered in four areas: respondent characteristics, work-setting characteristics, respondents attitudes about work, and job opportunities. Respondents who were not working were asked about their reasons for being unemployed. Findings from the current study can be found at

New graduates of nursing programs who become registered nurses are essential to balancing the supply and demand for these professionals, said Kovner. Therefore, it is vital that we understand the factors that promote the retention of newly licensed RNs as well as factors that lead to the high turnover rates among them.

We deeply appreciate the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations continued unwavering support for the study of the important issues of RN retention and job satisfaction, said NYUCN Dean Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN. The findings will in turn help leaders in the field make informed decisions about where in the system we need to make greater investments in educating, hiring, and retaining excellent nurses, which is so critical to the health of our nation.


Contact: Christopher James
New York University

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