Examines the introduction of PRP into occupations like nursing. Essentially a literature review, examines the theoretical case for and practical problems of PRP in its “natural setting” in the private sector and highlights the issues of performance measurement, motivation and control in nursing. Generally concludes that any attempt to force individualized PRP into nursing that does not recognize the contingencies of particular trusts and those who work in them is likely to prove counter‐productive. Neither the theoretical justification nor the empirical evidence supporting PRP is sufficiently strong to warrant wholesale adoption. Instead, trusts which wish to bring about a focus on a more performance‐oriented culture would be better advised to refine performance measures and consider group‐based schemes.