Current guidelines on secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease recommend nurse-coordinated care (NCC) as an effective intervention. However, NCC programmes differ widely and the efficacy of NCC components has not been studied. To investigate the efficacy of NCC and its components in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease by means of a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. 18 randomised trials (11 195 patients in total) using 15 components of NCC met the predefined inclusion criteria. These components were placed into three main intervention strategies: (1) risk factor management (13 studies); (2) multidisciplinary consultation (11 studies) and (3) shared decision making (10 studies). Six trials combined NCC components from all three strategies. In total, 30 outcomes were observed. We summarised observed outcomes in four outcome categories: (1) risk factor levels (16 studies); (2) clinical events (7 studies); (3) patient-perceived health (7 studies) and (4) guideline adherence (3 studies). Compared with usual care, NCC lowered systolic blood pressure (weighted mean difference (WMD) 2.96 mm Hg; 95% CI 1.53 to 4.40 mm Hg) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (WMD 0.23 mmol/L; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.36 mmol/L). NCC also improved smoking cessation rates by 25% (risk ratio 1.25; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.43). NCC demonstrated to have an effect on a small number of outcomes. NCC that incorporated blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol control and smoking cessation has an impact on the improvement of secondary prevention. Additionally, NCC is a heterogeneous concept. A shared definition of NCC may facilitate better comparisons of NCC content and outcomes.