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Professional careers in nursing: A longitudinal study

At a glance



In Switzerland, no data of longitudinal studies to professional careers of nurses exist. Little is known about job retention as well as why nurses leave their profession.

This project is part of a cooperation between the Swiss Universities in Health to establish a competence center for workforce shortage among health professionals. Different sub-projects will develop basic knowledge and measures.


This study aims to close this gap by surveying a cohort of Swiss nurses having entered the profession six years ago. The objective of the study is therefore to learn more about the professional careers, specifically about factors influencing the careers in nursing or the decision to leave the profession.


One cohort of graduates of a study programs in nursing either at a University of Applied Science or at a Colleague of Professional Education and Training will be surveyed six years after graduation. These same graduates have already been surveyed in a first study with two waves of a survey at the end of their studies and one year after graduation and will now be contacted for a third online-survey. Further analyses will then be conducted  in an integrated dataset with additional data of a study with health assistants FaGe (ASSC, OSS) conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training SFIVET.


The results will help to improve the knowledge on professional careers of nurses in the first years after entering the profession and in addition, factors for leaving the profession will be identified. This knowledge can be used to establish measures to improve retention in the field of nursing in Switzerland.


In October 2017, the third wave of the survey started in the German speaking part of Switzerland. The French and Italian Speaking parts will follow in 2018.

Further information