Participant Recruitment: How do I access a list of registered nurses?
This article is an informational piece on how to gain access to contact information of registered nurses through the various State Boards of Nursing.
When I embarked on my PhD journey, I had many grandiose ideas on where to go and what to do with my research study. Many educators along the way kept reminding me to keep it simple and stay within my means as a graduate student. Best advice that I could heed!
One of the common stressors for me as a first time research student was the worry on how I was going to gain access to my desired population and for that method to comply with the Institutional Review Board (IRB). My study design required me to gain access to registered nurses licensed in the United States that had two years or less of bedside experience. I decided that in this modern age, the best way to reach the newly qualified registered nurse was via email rather than postal mail. Plus I was planning to conduct an online survey, so it would be easiest to email a link. Therefore, I began the exploratory journey of how I was going to get either email addresses (or mailing addresses if that was all I could get) of licensed registered nurses.
Being that I needed licensed registered nurses, I started with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. After searching their website, I found that I was not going to be able to get any registered nurse contact information from them. Then I began to tackle the 50 State Boards of Nursing. Some information is forthcoming on the website and some I had to email or call various contacts at the board of nursing to make my inquiry. It was a rather labor intensive process. Therefore, I am writing this article in hopes to save others that are looking for access to contact information for licensed registered nurses a few extra labor intensive days in their journey.
There are four states that absolutely will not release contact information of their licensed registered nurses. Those states are Idaho, New York, North Dakota, and Tennessee.
Below is a list of the states that will release contact information of their licensed registered nurses for a fee. The fees vary per state. Some state fees even vary per amount of information you want to receive.
Additionally, the state of Washington will release contact information for a fee but you must be on a pre-approved list. You can apply to be on the list through a simple application process.
States that will release contact information free of charge are:
Some of these "no cost" states will only release mailing addresses and some will also include email addresses. If you are looking specifically for email addresses that are free of charge, your two go to states would be Florida and Ohio. Florida you can download directly from their website. Ohio you can send an email request through the Public Information Request Tracking team. Once received and processed, Ohio will then email you excel files containing the information you need. The process only takes a matter of a few days.
If you are looking for contact information of registered nurses in the state of Massachusetts, you can download a list from their website. If you would prefer to have a data file containing the information, you can request from the state board of nursing for an additional fee. Email addresses are not included.
The last state that I did not mention in any of the above lists is Nevada. According to the Nevada State Board of Nursing a fee will not be assessed (therefore it is free) until the total cost of the list reaches $10.00. Further information regarding the maximum cost and at what amount the requestor will start to be charged $10 was not addressed on the mailing list application.
I hope that you have found this information helpful and if you are seeking to find out this information, I will have saved you some time.Last edit by Joe V on Jun 15, '18
I have been a registered nurse for 11 years and a nurse educator for 6 of those years. I earned my BSN in 2006 and my MSN in 2010. I am currently pursing my PhD.
Joined: Mar '17; Posts: 21; Likes: 11Sep 6, '17TBH, this makes me kind of uneasy. I understand that this information is probably quite helpful for nurses doing research, however it brings up several issues concerning privacy. I've known nurses who were stalked, and nurses who are in domestic violence situations; the fact that their mailing addresses and email addresses are available to the public is concerning.Sep 9, '17Quote from adventure_rnAgreed. I understand how important and difficult doctoral research can be, but I am glad I am in one of the four states that does not release my information to just anyone searching for it. I think I might have chosen a different, non-intrusive way to go about conducting my research. For example, if issuing a survey, look up academic medical centers state-to-state and approach the medical center, not the individual nurse, as the medical center's contact information will be public, and the academic centers (by virtue of what they are) may be more willing to help you in your research. Let the medical center send an internal email to employees with YOUR contact information, and allow those within your set parameters to respond. As many employees as AMCs usually employ, it should give you a good sample size, really. I would probably be rather miffed at my state's BON (and the receiver of the information) if I found my personal information (address, phone number, email address, years of licensure, etc.) had been sold to some random Joe Shmo.TBH, this makes me kind of uneasy. I understand that this information is probably quite helpful for nurses doing research, however it brings up several issues concerning privacy. I've known nurses who were stalked, and nurses who are in domestic violence situations; the fact that their mailing addresses and email addresses are available to the public is concerning.Sep 26, '17To the OP,
Thanks for the information though I don't think I'll need it for my study as I'm doing qualitative with purposive/snowball sampling and will probably need <30 participants. But you never know where things will go in the future!
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