Following a comprehensive review of nurse selection literature, data were obtained from four tests of personality (EPPS, WPAI, NSQ AND EPI) and one of mental ability (ACER) administered to 96 students selected for a hospital-based nurse training programme. Of the 96 students, 59 had completed two years of training and additional data were included from 37 new entrants. The scores from the variables were subjected to factor analysis and 13 factors specific to a nurse population were isolated. Satisfactory and unsatisfactory nurses were found to differ significantly on four factors. Discriminant analysis was carried out to investigate how well the factors could differentiate between the trainees who had completed two years of training satisfactorily and those who had not. Three of the four factors isolated by the factor analysis originated primarily from the EPPS with variables of anxiety from the NSQ and the EPI. The fourth factor was primarily that of conservatism. The results indicate that variables suggesting neurotic trends of personality, deference and conservatism are major factors among successful nurses.