Internal migration of nurses in the United States: migratory prompts and difference in job satisfaction between migrants and non-migrants

Nurs Econ. 2013 May-Jun;31(3):128-36.


In the United States, nurses are highly mobile due to a nursing shortage and the transferability of their skills. Despite the importance of internal migration (inter-state movement) of nurses in the distribution of the supply nurses, little is known about such migration. Researchers used data from the 2004 and 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses to examine the factors associated with nurses' internal migration as well as the difference in job satisfaction for migrant and non-migrant nurses. Factors associated with a higher likelihood of internal migration were: a change in employer, higher earnings, not foreign-educated, less nursing experience, a younger age, being male, being single, having no children, the Nursing Licensure Compact, and not being employed in the state where the first RN license was obtained. Migrant nurses had lower job satisfaction than non-migrant nurses; higher job satisfaction is noted with higher earnings levels. The development of policies such as relocation and social support to help migrant nurses cope and adjust to a new working environment are proposed.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Travel*
  • United States