AIMS: To understand nurse administrators' intentions and considerations in recruiting inactive nurses and to examine predictors of intent to recruit.
BACKGROUND: Few studies have provided insight into employer intentions and considerations in recruiting inactive nurses.
METHODS: A census survey collected data from 392 nurse administrators via a mailing method.
RESULTS: Overall, 89.0% of nurse administrators were willing to recruit inactive nurses. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that the only predictor of nurse administrators' intention to recruit was nurse turnover rate at the hospital. Nurse administrators perceived the most important recruiting considerations were inactive nurses' cooperation with alternating shifts, health status and nursing licence. The most frequent reasons for not recruiting were an inactive nurse's lack of understanding of the medical environment and poor nursing competence.
CONCLUSIONS: Most hospital nurse administrators were willing to recruit inactive nurses. Inactive nurses who wish to return to work should be qualified, willing to work both day and night shifts, and in good health.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Nurse administrators can reduce the nursing shortage by recruiting inactive nurses. Re-entry preparation programmes should be implemented that will provide inactive nurses with knowledge of the current medical environment and the skills required to improve their nursing competence.