Dr. Delores C. Schoen is director of NSF Chautauqua Field Center and instructor of nursing, Life Science Division, Parkland College, Champaign, IL.
A life table analysis of the labor force participation of U.S. nurses, 1949 to 1980
Article first published online: 1 FEB 2011
Copyright © 1985 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
Research in Nursing & Health
Volume 8, Issue 2, pages 105–116, June 1985
How to Cite
Schoen, D. C. and Schoen, R. (1985), A life table analysis of the labor force participation of U.S. nurses, 1949 to 1980. Res. Nurs. Health, 8: 105–116. doi: 10.1002/nur.4770080204
- Issue published online: 1 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 1 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 8 DEC 1983
- Manuscript Received: 18 MAR 1983
Data from seven inventories of registered nurses by the American Nurses' Association and the 1980 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses are analyzed in a life table format to examine changes in nurse labor force participation. The results show a substantial increase in the labor force participation of nurses, as a nurse aged 20 could be expected to spend 28.5 years in the labor force in 1949 and 34.1 years in the labor force in 1980. Much of that rise seems attributable to increasing full-time employment. There is a positive relationship between participation in the nursing labor force and a nurse's highest level of educational preparation, but that relationship is not a simple one. Nurses with a master's or higher degree are very active in the labor force, while diploma nurses are much less likely to be employed. At the same time, nurses with baccalaureate degrees have relatively low rates of labor force participation, but associate degree nurses have rates rivaling the most highly educated.