Despite vast research on newly licensed registered nurses (RNs), we don't know why some newly licensed registered nurses remain in their current jobs and others leave the nursing profession early in their career. Job satisfaction, the most significant factor emerging from the literature, plays a significant role in nurses' decisions to remain in their current jobs. This study examined the lived experiences of newly licensed registered nurses early in their careers. The researcher interviewed 14 newly licensed registered nurses to ask why they chose nursing as a profession and to determine factors that would influence their choice to stay in nursing as a career. Data were collected from newly licensed registered nurses through in-depth, face-to-face interviews, using a semi-structured interview guide developed by the researcher. Data analysis identified the emerging themes of altruism, self-fulfillment, challenging career, and the influence of role models as determining factors for nurses staying in the field. Findings suggest that those in positions of healthcare management should consider how they can create a workplace environment that provides newly licensed registered nurses the opportunity to fulfill these employment expectations.


Newly Licensed Registered Nurses, Career Choice, Motivation, Retention, Qualitative Research

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.