Decay dynamics of the upper-laser energy level of Nd:YVO4 are re-evaluated. In order to reduce the effects of re-absorption, comparative measurements among crushed samples with different doping concentrations were conducted. The magnitude of re-absorption was estimated experimentally by comparing the relative intensity of the emitted fluorescence spectra at different wavelengths, and estimated theoretically by employing a simplified model. The temporal decay dynamics are found to be non-exponential and the associated rate parameters are presented. The room temperature intrinsic life time value of the 4F3/2 energy level is found to be significantly shorter than the value accepted today.