Mobility of Nurses in Israel: Patterns and Trends

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 8:30 AM

Orly Toren, RN, PhD
Nursing division, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel

Learning Objective 1: To understand nursing manpower trends - stability of the working force, reasons to leave the profession, variables explaining mobility

Learning Objective 2: to understand nurses mobility between hospitals and community, mobility across sectors and whithin the hospital

Purpose: 1) Describe the level of nursing mobility in and out of the profession. 2)  Describe nursing mobility within the hospital or between hospitals the community and other healthcare organizations.  3) Identify factors explaining the phenomena of mobility. 

Methods: (1) Nationwide telephone survey among a random sample of 10% of all RNs at working age (n=3,200 RNs) (2)  Analysis of administrative data.


Approximately 15% of the nurses have reported temporary exiting from practicing nursing for more than 6 months. The common reason was taking care of children. Twenty five percent of the nurses in hospitals and in HMOs have made some shift within nursing in the last 10 years, between economic sectors (government, HMOs, private or public sectors); between hospitals and the community or within the community. The major move is from hospitals to the community. The main variables explaining mobility between hospitals and community are: part time work, age under 45, non married and academic degree. The main trend of mobility within the hospital is associated with the internal medicine department of which most nurses have worked prior to changing working department.  

Conclusion: The nursing profession is relatively stable. The mobility on the nation level is relatively limited; therefore, planning policy for staffing and staff development should be based on this outcome. At the local level, the findings appear to indicate that nurses tend to leave the internal medicine department more than other units. Strategies for preservation of nurses in these units should be considered.