The aim of this study was to describe Iranian registered nurses’ experience of nursing, and to discuss some of the sociocultural viewpoints that are relevant for such experience. Data were collected by asking 75 registered nurses (RNs) to write statements about their nursing experience. Written descriptions were analyzed by an interpretative phenomenological method. Four different themes emerged: (i) task-oriented nursing experience; (ii) caring-oriented nursing experience; (iii) altruism-oriented nursing experience; and (iv) difficulties experienced. Some participants explained nursing experience by describing a series of daily routine tasks. Others described experience by emphasizing how nursing was a caring profession, and some described their nursing experience from an altruistic viewpoint. Furthermore, the participants described nursing experience based on the relevant problems that they faced in everyday professional life. They expressed difficulties relating to work settings and also problems that were related to the sociocultural view of nursing in society. The nurses in general were dissatisfied with their work and this made them seriously consider leaving the nursing profession. The findings have implications for nursing management and education. These suggestions might enable changes that could effectively improve the status of nursing in Iran. An holistic approach is necessary to integrate these implications into a nursing system, both in practice and in education, for improving conditions that will facilitate a higher development of nursing in Iran.