There is a public expectation that registered nurses are competent in their skills. Nurses need to know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to enable them to safely and effectively provide appropriate CPR measures. The objectives of this descriptive study were (i) to investigate nurses' knowledge regarding CPR; and (ii) to identify barriers to appropriate CPR evaluation. One hundred questionnaires were distributed to nurses working in a public government hospital in Bahrain; 82 of these were returned. The results indicated that cognitive knowledge was not adequately retained. Fifty-eight per cent of respondents perceived recalling CPR information as easy or extremely easy. Only 7% of respondents passed the knowledge test. In general, those who had less education and experience did not recall essential CPR knowledge. This study identified a significant problem with the knowledge surrounding CPR. More concerning was the lack of professional responsibility in dealing with this inadequacy.