Questions about eligibility?
If you’re not eligible to enroll in the study, you can still play an important role by helping us spread the word!
Why can’t I join?
All research studies have guidelines, called eligibility criteria, identifying who can or cannot participate. Eligibility criteria specify the characteristics that must be shared by all participants, such as age, gender, medical history, and current health status.
Eligibility criteria help researchers achieve accurate and meaningful results. Enrolling participants with similar characteristics ensures that the results will be due to what is under study and not other factors.
NHS3 is the third generation of the Nurses’ Health Studies. Some of the eligibility criteria have changed, but much of what’s required is to ensure that participant data is consistent with, and complements, the data that has been collected over the past four decades.
Why only nurses and nursing students?
The Nurses’ Health Studies follow participants throughout their lives. Registered nurses were selected for the original study because researchers anticipated that their nursing training would increase their ability to respond with a high degree of accuracy to brief, technically worded questionnaires. Researchers also hoped that nurses’ commitment to health would help motivate them to participate in a long-term study. The study still focuses on nurses so that researchers can accurately identify trends over time.
Why can’t older nurses join NHS3?
NHS3 focuses on younger nurses because that age range is no longer represented in the previous Nurses’ Health Studies, whose participants have grown older since they joined. Taken together, the three studies provide a continuum of ages:
- Nurses’ Health Study participants born between 1921 and 1946
- Nurses’ Health Study II participants born between 1946 and 1964
- Nurses’ Health Study 3 participants born after 1964
I thought NHS was a women’s health study. Why can men join NHS3?
Nurses’ Health Study 3 began enrolling male nurses in 2015 in response to the changing demographics of the nursing profession. The initial goal of the Nurses’ Health Study was to conduct research about breast cancer at a time when most health research involved men, in hopes of correcting this critical research disparity. At the time, the nursing profession was almost entirely female, and nurses had the additional benefit of being skilled in accurately recording health information.
Nearly 50 years later, the nursing profession is much more diverse. The study continues its research on women’s health but has evolved to include important topics related to nurses’ health regardless of gender.
Who is not eligible?
Some people who are not eligible to join NHS3 are people who currently are:
- Younger than 18
- Born before January 1, 1965 (this allows us to have a continuum of ages across the three studies, from Nurses’ Health Study 3 participants, to Nurses’ Health Study II participants born between 1946 and 1964, and Nurses’ Health Study participants born between 1921 and 1946)
- Living outside the United States or Canada
- In nursing-related fields who are not RNs or LPNs/LVNs, such as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), Patient Care Assistants (PCA), State Tested Nurse Aides (STNA), or Nursing Assistants-Registered (NA/R)
- Health professionals who are not nurses, such as physicians, physician assistants, dietitians, respiratory/occupational/physical therapists, speech pathologists, pharmacists, etc.