The impact of shift work on nurses' job stress, sleep quality and self-perceived health status

J Nurs Manag. 2014 Jul;22(5):604-12. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12020. Epub 2012 Nov 2.


Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the current state of nurses' shift work in Taiwan and how it affects nurses' stress, sleep quality and self-perceived health status.

Background: To enable the provision of 24-hour patient care, nurses need to work various shifts. Long-term shift work significantly affects nurses' overall physical and mental health.

Method: Nurses from four Chiayi County district hospitals in Taiwan (n = 266) participated in this cross-sectional study from August to September 2010. Demographics, work schedule forms, a stress checklist, a sleep-quality measure and a health-status measure were used to collect data. Independent t-test, one-way anova, Pearson's r, and hierarchical regression were applied for analysis.

Results: The results showed that regardless of the amount of shift work they performed, nurses reported moderate job stress, poor sleep quality and moderate self-perceived health. The following significant relationships were observed: job stress was inversely related to sleep quality, which was directly related to self-perceived health status.

Conclusion and implications for nursing management: Hospital managers need to ensure more healthy shift work scheduling in order to improve nurses' clinical performance and personal health status, thereby also improving the quality of patient care.

Keywords: job stress; self-perceived health status; shift work; sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyssomnias / complications*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Self Concept*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan
  • Work Schedule Tolerance / psychology*