The stagnation in the supply of nurses necessitates the adoption of contextually-relevant strategies to attract recruits to the profession. The objective of this study was to understand how prospective candidates could be influenced to enter the profession, by determining what motivated current South African nurses to choose nursing as a profession. Support on entering the profession and employment security were rated as most important, while the influence of others and extrinsic rewards associated with nursing were perceived to be less important. Although private sector nurses and nurses who intended to change their employment sector were significantly more likely to rate employment security and extrinsic rewards highly, and public sector nurses and nurses from the more rural areas thought that the immediacy of support on entering the profession and intrinsic factors where more important, a homogenous approach to recruitment is possible. Copyright © 2010 The Berkeley Electronic Press. All rights reserved.