At a hospital school of nursing in Australia, a pilot study was carried out on first year students’images of nursing and work values. Students were found to accept most items on the College of Nursing (Australia) Inventory as characteristics of nursing and as work values. Background factors had minimal effect on their attitudes to nursing and work values, although age, type of secondary school attended, and religion had minor effects. Responsibility for decisions, individuality, job security, maintaining personal identity, and flexibility, were more highly rated as work values than as characteristics of nursing. No difference between students with and without previous psychiatric nursing training was found on the attitude scales. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research are discussed.