Dramatic changes in workplace structure and environment have increased the importance of psychosocial factors and job insecurity in working life. Job insecurity is shown to have a negative impact on mental and physical health. Health care transformation in Turkey increases the threat of job insecurity for many workers in the health care sector. Therefore the aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the effects of perceived job insecurity on perceived depression and anxiety in nurses working in the private health sector in Izmir, Turkey. There were 16 private hospitals in Izmir of which 11 accepted to participate. Perceived quantitative (5 items) and qualitative (4 items) job insecurity were measured by means of structured questionnaires. The hospital anxiety and depression scale was used to evaluate subjective anxiety and depression. Job strain was assessed by the Demand-Control-Support Questionnaire. chi(2) anti logistic regression tests were used for analysis. A total number of 462 nurses were surveyed. Perceived anxiety (OR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.2-3.9) and depression (OR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.6-4.1) were significantly associated with qualitative job insecurity. Similarly quantitative job insecurity was associated with perceived anxiety (OR: 3.4, 95% CI: 1.9-6.2) and depression (OR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.4-5.6) in nurses. It has been concluded that qualitative and quantitative job insecurity significantly affected perceived anxiety and depression levels in nurses working in private hospitals. Prevention oriented research is needed for policy development.