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Using cross section random surveys (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016) of 7,000 nurses in California, we examine the influence of nursing demographics and four groups of self-reported determinants of nursing career-choice decisions: FAMILY CONCERNS (childcare, other family concerns, moving, and non-job illness), ECON (salary and benefits), STRESS (job stress, job illness, other job dissatisfaction, nurse job dissatisfaction, and lay off concerns), and OTHER group (travel, another occupation, and school).
For nurses leaving for at least one year of absence and then returning to nursing, the FAMILY CONCERNS were consistently rated most important by nurses, followed by a distant second by the equivalent STRESS and OTHER group influencers. The ECON group rated least important.
The nurses permanently leaving the health care profession, FAMILY CONCERNS were once again rated most important during the first three years of our sample (2008, 2010, 2012), but then faded as STRESS and OTHER factors took over in relative importance.
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