Health Risks Associated with Nurse Night Shift Work: A Systematic Review

Vickie Hughes


The purpose of this systematic review is to examine health risks associated with nurse shift work. An electronic literature search for “Health Risks Nurse Night Shift” was conducted using Pubmed, CINAHL, and Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition databases. Inclusion criteria used was English language, full text available, and published dates between January 1, 2004 and March 1, 2015. Based on the search criteria a total of 90 articles were identified. Abstracts for the articles were reviewed for relevance and duplicate citations removed for a total of 33 articles being included in the review. Identified health risks associated with nurse night shift work included breast cancer, fractures, obesity, type 2 diabetes, menstrual irregularities, stroke, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression. Rotating night shift work was associated with a decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and skin cancer. Future research should focus on effective interventions to decrease health risks associated with prolonged nurse night shift rotations.


health risks, nurse, night shift

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