Exploring Career Motivations and Concerns of Registered Nurses in New York State


  • Phoebe M. Massimino
  • Ileana M. Carillo
  • Anthony J. Santella




Nursing Workforce, Nurse Motivators, Nurse Attrition, Nurse Recruiting, Nurse Retention


Given the central role of nurses in our healthcare system for quality medical care, patient safety and ensuring optimal patient outcomes, it is important to understand their career motivations and work-related concerns. While the profession has been in existence for centuries, exploring current career motivations and work-related concerns is a key aspect of keeping the profession staffed and satisfied. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 211 Registered Nurses (RNs) in New York State. This study sought to identify the motivation to pursue a career in nursing, including a career as an RN, as well as current work-related concerns in their primary nursing position. Personal motivators (predominantly the desire to help others) ranked as the principal reason for choosing the profession (63.8%) among respondents. Employment motivators (including job security, benefits and monetary reasons) ranked second (28.2%), and Lifestyle motivators (including hours and schedules) ranked third (8.0%). Statistical analysis examined the associations between variables of interest. Results revealed consistency across subgroups of RNs for both career motivations and current work concerns. Analyses were conducted to determine whether nurse career motivations and current work concerns differ by: demographics; education and training; licensure and employment. In consideration of the current and worsening nursing shortage, nurse attrition and retention strategies were explored within the context of nurse motivations and concerns. Understanding the career motivations and work concerns of RNs can advise both academia and healthcare employers regarding recruitment and retention strategies to ensure proper staffing for these essential healthcare workers.



How to Cite

Massimino, P. M., Carillo, I. M., & Santella, A. J. (2023). Exploring Career Motivations and Concerns of Registered Nurses in New York State. American Journal of Health Studies, 38(1). https://doi.org/10.47779/ajhs.2023.753