Report Finds Intersection Between Practice Settings and Experience

nursing experience

The Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN), the state’s leading nursing workforce research organization, today released a new report showing how nurses’ tendencies to work in certain settings change as they gain more nursing experience. ​

“The results of this study clearly show that nurses with less than 20 years of experience are more likely to work in a hospital setting,” said Research Director Dr. Rick Allgeyer, PhD. “As nurses gain more experience they move on to other settings, like public health, home health and nursing education.”

The study was conducted by analyzing licensing records for more than 20,000 Oregon nurses. While the probability of a nurse working in a hospital declined as the nurse gained more experience, the probability of a nurse working in a clinic, home health, hospice and public health increased as the nurse gained more experience.

“This study has wide implications for the nursing workforce,” explained Executive Director Jana Bitton, MPA. “It may mean hospitals should start looking at nurses to leave their work setting if they have more than 20 years of experience. It also shows a need to help experienced nurses transition into more community-based settings.”

OCN is a nonprofit organization created by nursing leaders in 2002. OCN facilitates research and collaboration for Oregon’s nursing workforce to support informed, well-prepared, diverse and exceptional nursing professionals. Recognized by the Oregon state legislature as a state advisor for nursing workforce issues, OCN fulfills its mission through nurse workforce research, building partnerships, and promoting nursing and healthcare.  For more information about OCN, please visit

Jana R. Bitton, MPA
Executive Director