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Become a part of a world-renowned group of nurses! Every time you read about a medical breakthrough that resulted from the Nurses’ Health Studies, you’ll know you contributed. Learn more about the history of the Nurses’ Health Studies!

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We hope you will join us if you are:

  • A nurse of any gender (currently working, not working, or retired)
  • A nursing student of any gender
  • Age 18 and over, and born in 1965 or later
  • Living in the United States or Canada
  • Willing to complete online questionnaires on a periodic basis

Participants must have or be working toward one of the following certifications:

  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
  • Specialized RN, such as Nurse Practitioners (NP), Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), or other RNs holding advanced practice certifications/licensures (e.g., Certified Nurse Midwife)

For more information, visit Questions about eligibility below

Approximately 30 minutes every 6 months

Nurses’ Health Study 3 (NHS3) participants complete a 30-minute online questionnaire every six months. Each questionnaire you complete will be different. We respect your busy life and strive to make participation as convenient as possible.

  • You can use your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to complete your questionnaire (read about how we protect participant data).
  • If you are interrupted, your answers will be saved so you can return later to exactly where you left off.
  • We will email you when it’s time to take a new questionnaire.

If you have any questions or problems, please call or email us for assistance and we will be happy to help:

Email: nhs3@channing.harvard.edu

Call: 617-432-1553

For more information, visit Questions about participation below

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.

What if I am temporarily living abroad?

If your primary residence is in the US or Canada, you are eligible to join NHS3. If you move abroad after joining, you can continue to participate.

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 in 1965 or later

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.

What kind of questions will be on the questionnaires?

Each questionnaire is different, and many participants look forward to seeing what new questions are being asked. Questions may include:

  • Demographic data
  • Medical history
  • Health-related behaviors
  • Occupational information
  • Residential information
  • Reproductive history

Participants may also be invited to participate in substudies on specific topics, such as pregnancy. Participation is completely optional, but many nurses welcome the opportunity to contribute to increasing knowledge about health issues that are important to them. For example, our Mobile Health Study is using smartphones and Fitbits to measure physical activity, sleep, and participants’ neighborhood environments.

Will I be required to answer every question?

On occasion, you may decide you do not feel comfortable answering a particular question. This is perfectly fine. You may skip any questions you do not feel comfortable answering or feel you cannot answer accurately. While we hope you will answer the questionnaires to the best of your ability, any information that you can provide will be valuable. 

What has changed since NHS3 started?

The study is always changing and adapting to reflect what we learn from your questionnaires. We collect information on occupational and environmental factors and, moving forward, will be focusing on environmental health to an even greater degree. We are also taking advantage of modern technology to collect data using smartphones and apps.

Do I need to be invited to participate?

No, you do not need a special invitation to join Nurses’ Health Study 3. Anyone who is eligible can participate. We hope you will help us spread the word.

I was a nurse, but I am retired/not currently working. Am I eligible?

Yes! We hope you will join us.

When does the study end?

The Nurses’ Health Studies are longitudinal cohort studies, and each study follows its participants throughout their lifetimes. The original Nurses’ Health Study began in 1976 and is still going strong, with more than 90% of those enrolled still actively participating!

How many surveys are there to fill out?

We will send you questionnaires every six months, and your response to each is critical to increase our knowledge and help the health of nurses everywhere. We may invite you to complete additional questionnaires aimed at learning more about specific life stages (pregnancy, for example) or specific health conditions.

Are all of the questionnaires the same?

No, the study and questions change to reflect what’s happening in participants’ lives—they adapt to you. How you answer questions could suggest new research initiatives to us or could indicate to us that particular questionnaires would be relevant to you.

Are medications, procedures, or tests required?

No, participants only provide information about health and lifestyle. We will not ask you to use any medications or undergo any procedures aimed at treatment or prevention of disease. We may invite you to contribute biological samples (such as blood or urine) to our biological specimen repository, which can be used to understand the underlying causes of health conditions.

Will I need to change my lifestyle?

No, we want you to live your life as you normally would and then tell us about it by completing the study’s questionnaires.

Will I have to pay for anything?

No, participation does not cost anything. The information you provide will be an invaluable gift to other nurses worldwide and for future generations.

I have an unusual medical history. Do you still want me to participate?

Yes! We hope everyone who is eligible will join NHS3. Occasionally, participants who have already had a major illness may not be asked to complete later questionnaires. But joining and completing the first questionnaire is very important!

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