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To evaluate whether nurse work shift affected workplace perceptions.Although the importance of work schedule in shaping work attitudes, generally (and specifically for nurses) is well accepted, much work remains in characterising how and why nurses' perceptions might differ across shifts.Using an exploratory study of observational data, we examined whether shift influenced non-supervisory nurses' job perceptions in the Veterans Health Administration All Employee Survey (n = 14057; years 2008, 2010, 2012). The size of differences in item means (95% C.I.) across shifts was evaluated graphically. Using ordinal logistic regression, we accounted for the ordinal outcome variables and controlled for the demographic and survey year effects.Nurses' perceptions of workplace climate differed across shifts. Items with the greatest differences, consistent across years and analytic methods, involved supervisors and fairness. Night and weekend shift nurse ratings were more negative than for weekday shift nurses.Off-shift nurses are less satisfied with work/life balance, their supervisors and especially fairness. Overall satisfaction and turnover intention are not affected to the same extent.These results indicate several specific areas that nurse managers can address through workforce support and communication.