The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine nursing students' perceptions of student self-determination in a Finnish health-care institute and to find out whether background data were in any way associated with these perceptions. To do this we developed a 56-item Students Self-Determination Questionnaire (SSDQ), which was completed by 435 nursing students. The results showed that self-determination is important for nursing students and that they are willing to exercise self-determination in their training. In practice, however, the students were not very active in this respect, nor did they feel that they were getting very much support from teaching staff. The meaning of self-determination increased with age and with increasing experience.