PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to explore how hospital nurses decide to quit working as professional nurses using the grounded theory method. METHOD: The data was collected by individual in-depth interviews with 12 hospital nurses who recently resigned from work and it was analyzed using 'constant comparative analysis.' RESULT: The core category that emerged was "in search of new balance with self, work, and family". Three stages were identified: 1) "unconditionally accepting the working situation of itself," 2) "weighing advantages and disadvantages of working as a hospital nurse", and 3) "redesigning a future". Each stage contains three major strategies. The major strategies of the first stage are "maintaining a learning attitude", "enduring physical burnout," and "enduring unfair interpersonal relationships". The second stage contains "identifying advantages of working", "identifying disadvantages of working", and "comparing the advantages with the disadvantages". Lastly, the third stage includes "reassessing the aim of life", "beginning to construct an alternative life", and "deciding to quit working at a certain point". CONCLUSION: The results of the study will help nursing administrators in designing and implementing an effective turnover prevention program for nurses by understanding more deeply the process of turnover phenomenon among hospital nurses.