PURPOSE: To examine geographical imbalances by analyzing new graduate nurses' migration patterns among regions where they grew up, attended nursing school, and had their first employment and to identify factors related to working in non-metropolitan areas. METHODS: The sample consisted of 507 new graduates working in hospitals as full-time registered nurses in South Korea. Migration patterns were categorized into 5 patterns based on sequential transitions of "geographic origin-nursing school-hospital." Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with working in non-metropolitan hospitals. RESULTS: Nurses who grew up, graduated, and worked in the same region accounted for the greatest proportion (54%). Sixty-five percent had their first employment in the region where they graduated. Nurses tended to move from poor to rich regions and from non-metropolitan to metropolitan areas. Working in non-metropolitan hospitals was related to older age, the father having completed less than 4 years of college education, non-metropolitan origin, non-capital city school graduation, and a diploma (vs. baccalaureate) degree. CONCLUSION: Admitting students with rural backgrounds, increasing rural nursing school admission capacities, and providing service-requiring scholarships, particularly for students from low-income families, are recommended to address geographical imbalances.