Methods: A cohort of 781 nurses was established in 2012 (Time Point [TP] 1). Participants were registered nurses from three large hospitals in South Korea. At TP2 (one year after TP1), the same nurses were asked to complete a new set of questionnaires. A total of 659 female nurses were selected for this analysis. Among them, 419 nurses kept the shift work, 190 nurses kept the non-shift work, 45 nurses changed from shift work (TP1) to non-shift work (TP2), and 25 nurses changed from non-shift work (TP1) to shift work (TP2). The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and multiple regression analysis.
Results: The nurses who changed from non-shift work to shift work reported higher job stress than others (p<.01). The change in shift work schedule, especially from non-shift work to shift work, is relevant to higher level of job stress (p<.01). Changes in working position, the number of night shift, and shift work schedules were significant predictors of job stress (p < .05).
Conclusion: Shift work is an integral part of labor markets all over the world. Therefore, it is necessary to help mitigate the negative effects of changes in shift work schedule change on workers’ occupational stress, especially female workers. Also, to confirm the association between shift work schedule change and job stress, it is required to conduct additional internationally-joint research projects.