What Does Nurse Turnover Rate Mean and What Is the Rate?

Christine T. Kovner, Carol S. Brewer, Farida Fatehi, Jin Jun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Registered nurse turnover is an important indicator of the nurse job market. Despite its wide use as a measure for health-care system analysis, there is a lack of consistency in the definition of turnover. Some definitions include any nurse leaving an organization; others may include involuntary and voluntary leaving. These inconsistent definitions also result in various turnover rates. The RN Work Project is a 10-year panel study of new nurses. Data were collected from the new nurses, rather than from a specific organization. About 17.5% of new nurses leave their first job within 1 year of starting their jobs. Consistent and accurate measurement of turnover is an important step in addressing organizational work environments and policies about the nursing workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalPolicy, Politics, and Nursing Practice
StatePublished - Feb 5 2014


  • RN
  • cost
  • nurse turnover
  • turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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