Five-Year Nationwide Study to Aid in Easing the Nursing Shortage

New York University (NYU), on behalf of its College of Nursing, has received a five-year, $1.96 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study newly licensed nurses in order to track changes in their careers. The national study will periodically survey recent graduates of registered nurse (RN) programs over the first four years of their careers to track the underlying reasons for their work decisions.

In the face of continuing nursing shortages, exploring the conditions that influence new nurses to remain in, or leave, their positions will be particularly useful. The researchers, who expect to send surveys to 5,000 recent graduates of nursing programs, hope their findings will inform health care organizations and policymakers’ efforts to retain qualified RNs and improve the environments in which they work.

Christine Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN, of the NYU College of Nursing is the principal investigator. Carol Brewer, RN, PhD, of the University of Buffalo School of Nursing is the co-principal investigator. William Greene, an expert in econometrics, of NYU Stern School of Business, is a co-investigator.

“New graduates of nursing programs who become registered nurses are essential to balancing the supply and demand for these professionals,” says Dr. Kovner. “Although enrolments in nursing programs have recently begun to rise again, there is some concern that newly licensed RNs leave hospital positions more frequently than RNs with more experience.” Dr Brewer added, “It is important for us to know whether new nurses are leaving particular settings, or the profession. The answers will point to very different solutions.”

“We deeply appreciate the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s strong support for this important study on an issue that is so critical to the health of our nation,” said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the NYU College of Nursing. “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.”

The College of Nursing at the College of Dentistry is located on New York University’s historic Greenwich Village campus in New York City. The College of Nursing is one of the leading nursing programs in the United States. The College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Arts and Post-Master’s Certificate Programs; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Research Theory and Development. For more information, visit

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and healthcare of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit

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