Community Colleges and Careers: Evidence from Nursing School Lotteries
32 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2023
Date Written: March 28, 2023
I estimate the effect of attending an associate's degree in nursing program on maintaining a nursing license. I use student-level academic data for all California community college students, matched to public records on all nursing licenses earned in the state. I produce causal estimates using random variation from admissions lotteries at a large nursing program. Enrolling in the program increases the probability of having an active nursing license by 59 percentage points within three years. By seven years the effect is smaller and not statistically significant. I estimate the value of a nursing license as approximately $5,000-$6,000 per year.
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