The Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN) recently released its two latest studies on the state’s nursing workforce, “Where Are They Now? A Retrospective Analysis,” to describe how the registered nurse and nurse practitioner workforces churn and change over a period of time.

“While on the surface the workforce may seem the same, there is a lot of movement happening,” said Jana R. Bitton, OCN’s Executive Director. “In addition to seeing how many nurses exit the workforce, it was fascinating to see all the additional churn which potentially affected colleagues, employers and, ultimately, patients.”

The longitudinal studies looked at a cohort of registered nurses and nurse practitioners in 2011 and determined if they still worked in 2014. The studies also examined whether nurses continued working but changed to a different practice area, work setting or geographic region of the state.

“Some of this report follows common sense, such as a large percentage of nurses ages 55 and older are exiting the workforce,” Bitton said. “However, other types of churn are more unexpected, like the percentage of nurse practitioners working in family practice that move to a different practice area three years later.”

The two studies, both titled “Where Are They Now?” are available to download on the Reports page of the OCN website.

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. OCN fulfills its mission through nurse workforce research, building partnerships, and advocating for nursing and healthcare. For more information about OCN, please visit


Jana R. Bitton, MPA
Executive Director