Work-Related Health Conditions Among American Nurses: A Scoping Review

Jessica G. Rainbow, Katherine M. Dudding, Claire Bethel, Angie Norton, Christine Platt, Pankaj K. Vyas, Maribeth Slebodnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Working in the nursing profession is hazardous, and nurses report poor health. Risk factors associated with poor health outcomes have been documented. However, the extent of literature exploring the prevalence of health conditions among American nurses that may be attributable to their work has not been examined. Method: A scoping review following the Joanna Briggs Institute recommendations was conducted of peer-reviewed quantitative studies to answer the question: What are health conditions experienced by American nurses that may be attributable to their work as nurses? Results: Thirty articles met the inclusion criteria. Due to the methods used in many articles, studies of the prevalence of health conditions among the nursing population were lacking. Health conditions studied broke into six categories: (a) work-related injuries and hazards; (b) unhealthy lifestyles; (c) mental health conditions; (d) burnout; (e) fatigue, sleep, and migraines; and (f) reproductive health. The role of work in the health conditions studied varied from an immediate impact on health (e.g., a needlestick or injury) to a cumulative impact (e.g., scheduling or workplace demands). Within the work demands, the physical environment; physical, emotional, and cognitive demands of work; and shiftwork were all frequently identified as antecedents that could be further explored and addressed to improve nurse health. Conclusions: Healthcare systems should seek to address the hazards and exposures that may be linked to health conditions in the nursing workforce. Understanding and mitigating the impact of the pandemic and nursing work on the workforce's health is crucial to the solvency of the workforce. Occupational health practitioners should assess for workplace hazards and exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAGE Open Nursing
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


  • health condition
  • incidence/prevalence
  • Nurse
  • occupational health and safety
  • scoping review
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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