Analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) data shows that the average number of hours RNs are working has increased steadily from 1979 to 2013. Over the time period, the increase has amounted to roughly one additional hour for hospital-based RNs, but roughly 3 hours for those working in non-hospital settings. The increase in hours worked in non-hospital settings represents a roughly 10% increase in overall labor supply per RN over this time period – a significant contributor to the overall employment growth observed over this same time frame.



Analysis of the data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) shows that the percentage of RNs working part-time has been decreasing over the last three decades in both hospital and non-hospital settings. In this analysis, part-time is defined as working fewer than 30 hours per week. While part-time employment has been increasing in the US overall—due mainly to more workers settling for part-time work, though they would prefer full time—part-time work among RNs is more likely a voluntary choice.  In fact, the trend above mirrors trends for married women with more than a high school education.

Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies Research Brief No. 5
October 2014
Peter Buerhaus, David Auerbach, Christine Friedman, and Douglas Staiger