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The objective of this survey was to define the characteristics of the nursing work force of a mixed urban/rural region of New York state and to determine the nurses’ level of job satisfaction and commitment to the work setting.Recent investigations suggest nurses are highly dissatisfied with the demands of the healthcare environment and are expressing increased likelihood of leaving the work setting. These factors, in combination with the increasing age of the current nursing work force, are contributing to serious concerns about the future of patient care.A random sample survey was mailed to registered nurses in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State in June 2000. Items in the questionnaire addressed nurse characteristics, reasons for leaving or staying with an employing agency, one- and five-year career intent, and level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment.Forty-six percent of the nurses returned completed questionnaires. Within this sample, most of the nurses were older, European American, and female. Personal and organizational characteristics contributed to differences in levels of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and 1- and 5-year intent. In addition, many of the most satisfied and committed nurses reported their intent to leave nursing within the next 5 years.Findings of this investigation suggest the organizational environment, educational preparation, and personal characteristics of currently employed registered nurses affect their current job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and plans for continuing as a nurse.