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New Entry and the Rate of Return to Education: The Case of Registered Nurses


  • Surrey Walton
  • Philip Graves
  • Robert Sexton


In the 1970s, the percentage of high school graduates completing RN training increased with little change in the rate of return to training. During the 1980s, this percentage declined, despite large increases in the rate of return. The national data employed here examine long-run trends (with emphasis on the 1970s and 1980s) in financial incentives and entry into the nursing profession and suggest that broader professional career opportunities in the 1980s exerted a large impact vis-à-vis the 1970s, among other factors. Rates of return remain high in the 1990s with modest signs of the market stabilizing. Successful policies to ensure stability in health care service delivery must incorporate these varying trends in the RN market. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Surrey Walton & Philip Graves & Robert Sexton, 2005. "New Entry and the Rate of Return to Education: The Case of Registered Nurses," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(3), pages 325-336, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:33:y:2005:i:3:p:325-336
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-005-8173-9

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    Cited by:

    1. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop, 2014. "Do wage expectations influence the decision to enroll in nursing college?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100542, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health


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