• Article

Survey response inducements for registered nurses

The past 20 years have seen an overall decline in survey response rates and an even more pronounced decline in samples of health care professionals. The authors tested the use of a 'thank you' or 'reminder' postcard as a method by which to stem the tide of declining response rates. The authors conducted a mail and telephone survey of 49,605 registered nurses for the 2000 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and sent an extra mailing to a random subsample (n = 4,968). They then compared response rates for both groups. Contrary to prior research, this study found that reminder postcards did not improve response rates or rates of return. There may be several reasons for this finding, including the general familiarity with, and high saliency of, this research project for the nursing community. These results suggest that even widely accepted best practices for survey methods deserve scrutiny when applied to special subpopulations


Hill, C., Fahrney, K., Wheeless, S., & Carson, C. (2006). Survey response inducements for registered nurses. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 28(3), 322-334.