Nutritional status plays a significant value in the incidence of postoperative complications and survival rate after resection of cancers. The preoperative prognostic nutritional index (PNI) has recently been reported to be a simple, sensitive, and effective prognostic parameter in various cancers. We conducted a meta-analysis to explore the significant value of PNI in pancreatic cancers. We systematically searched electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Wanfang Data, and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure. Then, relevant studies were selected to perform this meta-analysis. Eleven studies with a total of 2123 patients met the inclusion criteria of this meta-analysis. The pooled results revealed that a lower PNI was significantly correlated with poorer overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.40–1.77; P < 0.001). Preoperative PNI might be an efficient predictor of survival with pancreatic cancers.