Trends in self-rated health among nurses: a 4-year longitudinal study on the transition from nursing education to working life

J Prof Nurs. 2010 Jan;26(1):54-60. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2009.09.002.


For nurses, the transition from higher education to working life involves several types of changes and seems to be a major contributing cause of distress and, consequently, ill health on a longer term basis. The aim of this study was to longitudinally monitor the development of self-rated health (SRH) in nurses, starting from the last semester at the university with subsequent follow-ups when the nurses had entered working life. The Longitudinal Analyses of Nurses' Education and working life is an ongoing nationwide longitudinal project focusing on mapping health and career development in nurses in Sweden. SRH is one of the most widely used single-item measures of perceived health status with a well-established predictive ability on future health outcomes, including morbidity and mortality. This study found a small but significant and continuous decline in SRH among nurses during 3 years of follow-ups, starting from their last semester of nursing education and continuing 3 years into their working life. The most pronounced decline in SRH seems to occur in the transition between student life and working life and is most explicit among the youngest nurses. However, the long-term effect on SRH when entering into working life seems to be more pronounced among the older nurses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate* / organization & administration
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden