A 5-year retrospective cohort study of 404 nurses hired during a 2-year period in five hospitals was conducted in order to explore withdrawal behavior exhibited by 76% of them. Three with-drawal behaviors were examined and compared: turnover, absenteeism, and systematic reduction in participation (reduced work schedules). In two separate regressions, systematic reduction in participation (SRP) and turnover were each regressed on absenteeism, after controlling for six organizational and demographic variables. The relationship between absenteeism and each of the other two behaviors was significant, but opposite in effect. Systematic reduction in participation was found to be an important source of nursing resource loss in some, but not all, hospitals. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.