How healthy are our nurses? New and registered nurses compared

Br J Nurs. 2011 Apr 28-May 12;20(8):489-96. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2011.20.8.489.


This study examined the health behaviour of nursing staff, comparing registered and pre-registered nurses in terms of their self-reported health and lifestyle behaviour. In total, 325 pre-registered nurses and 551 registered nurses, based at the same university teaching hospital and located within an acute NHS trust, completed a self-administered health and lifestyle questionnaire survey. With the exception of smoking behaviour, registered nurses generally had a healthier lifestyle compared with pre-registered nurses. However, when examining the overall health profile of the sample, the study reveals that there is room for improvement in the health and lifestyle behaviour exhibited by both registered and pre-registered nurses. Almost half of the sample failed to meet public health recommendations for levels of physical activity, almost two-thirds did not consume five portions of fruit or vegetables daily and almost half ate foods that were high in fat and sugar content on a daily basis. These findings are alarming given the current government emphasis on the health of NHS staff and the important role that nurses play in influencing lifestyle choices among their patients. There is an urgent need to target education and support services to improve the diet and exercise habits of nursing professionals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Nursing Staff / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Young Adult