Date of Graduation

Spring 2012


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


shift work, nurse, chronic disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome

Subject Categories



The United States, as well as the rest of the developed world, has become a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year society. Fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and health care have become 24 hour services; although these services are convenient for the rest of the society, health complications have begun to surface for shift workers. The purpose of this study is to examine differences in chronic illness and associated health indicators between female hospital nurses who work day and night shifts. This study is based on Roger's Science of Unitary Human Beings framework. A descriptive survey was used with a cross-sectional data collection. The setting and population were female nurses at a large Midwestern hospital. An electronic questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of both day and night shift nurses. The survey found that night shift nurses in the sample had a higher percentage of metabolic syndrome and poor sleep habits when compared to day shift nurses; however these findings were not able to be applied to larger populations due to the small sample size. The results did not find an increased occurrence of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, or colon cancer in night shift nurses. Future research should be focused on performing a longitudinal study to further evaluate chronic disease and shift work. As shift work becomes more prevalent in society, it is vital to identify the specific effects of shift work so disease prevention can be implemented.


© Jamie Lynn Morse

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