California Board of Registered Nursing: 2020 Survey of Registered Nurses

Title: California Board of Registered Nursing: 2020 Survey of Registered Nurses

Authors: Chu, L., Spetz, J.

Type: Report

Year of Publication: 2023

Publisher: California Board of Registered Nursing

Place Published: San Francisco

Date Published: 05/2023



The 2020 Survey of California Registered Nurses is the twelfth in a series of surveys designed to describe the population of registered nurses (RNs) licensed in California and to examine changes in this population over time. The 2020 survey was sent to 8,000 RNs and completed by 4,123 RNs. The data revealed little change in the demographic composition of California’s RNs since 2018, with 11.7% of RNs being male and 54.3% being non-
white. Nearly 71% of RNs had a bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing, due to both an increasing percentage of new graduates with bachelor’s degrees and a growing number of graduations from RN-to-BSN post-licensure education programs. Average employment rates of RNs did not change between 2018 and 2020, but a larger share of RNs in older age groups were not working in 2020 compared with 2018. A total of nearly 70,000 RNs living in California were not employed in nursing in 2020, with 40% of these being 65 years and older. Nursing incomes increased between 2018 and 2020, reaching an average annual income of $114,937. California’s employed nurses were generally very satisfied with their jobs and the nursing profession, although 3.3% were experiencing severe symptoms of burnout and another 5.3% percent were experiencing persistent symptoms of burnout. Among younger RNs not working in nursing, “stress on the job” was commonly cited as a reason for not being employed as nurses. These data suggest that the first nine months of the pandemic led to challenges in the workplace and spurred some nurses to retire early. Health care leaders need to attend to these issues to ensure a stable nursing workforce in the long-term.