Risk factors related to the workplace environment are being studied to identify positive associations with hypertension disorders. Hypertension is considered as one of the main modifiable risk factors and most important public health issues. The study aims to describe the prevalence of hypertension and associate it with sociodemographic, labour and health aspects, in the health-care nursing staff of an emergency hospital.Cross-sectional study enrolled 606 nursing workers. The data were collected from February to June, and the analysis was conducted in November 2010. Arterial blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were assessed, and sociodemographic and labour variables were investigated by means of a questionnaire. The data were analysed by descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate analysis. The prevalence of hypertension was 32% (n = 388), with positive associations with age > 49 years (OR = 2.55 (CI: 1.19 to 5.43)), ethnicity (non-white) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.22, confidence interval (CI) 1.16 to 1.24), BMI (OR = 2.24 (CI: 1.25 to 4.01)) and WHR (OR = 2.65 (CI: 1.95 to 7.763)). Arterial hypertension was frequent in the nursing staff of this emergency hospital. Further studies are needed to better understand the relationship between occupational aspects and arterial hypertension.