Literature supports the premise that the individual's perception of learning needs plays an important role in his or her motivation to learn new behaviors (Heijn & Granger, 1974). How spinal cord-injured (SCI) individuals perceive their learning needs in the rehabilitation setting may have profound effects on their motivation to learn and to practice behaviors necessary for living with their disability in their own environment. Discrepancies between priorities of learning needs identified by registered nurses (as patient educators) and those identified by patients are potential barriers to optimal learning. The first purpose of this study is to describe the learning needs of SCI individuals during rehabilitation, as perceived by the individuals themselves and by the registered nurses who cared for them, to determine if discrepancies existed that might prove detrimental to optimal learning. The second purpose of the study is to investigate the existence of a common hierarchy of perceived importance of learning needs that may be used by registered nurses to predict the priority of learning needs of an SCI individual in the rehabilitation setting. Though the sample size was small, the significant findings of this study were twofold. First, the registered nurses were generally accurate in identifying the high-priority learning needs of the patients. Secondly, the findings support Maslow's postulate (1943; 1970) that needs can be organized within a hierarchy of importance. With further study, the hierarchies may have important implications for organizing teaching in the rehabilitation setting. Predictability of the priority of needs may allow nurses to meet an individual's most important needs first. This may enhance patients' motivation to learn desirable behaviors.