What does nurse turnover rate mean and what is the rate?

Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2014 Aug-Nov;15(3-4):64-71. doi: 10.1177/1527154414547953. Epub 2014 Aug 25.


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.

Keywords: RN; cost; nurse turnover; turnover.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nurses / supply & distribution*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / supply & distribution*
  • Personnel Management
  • Personnel Turnover / economics*
  • Personnel Turnover / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States