Demand for nursing care, and nurses, is growing in the United Kingdom given an increasingly ageing patient population with long-term co-morbidities. An ageing nursing workforce and fewer school leavers entering nursing are key barriers to student nurse recruitment. This paper aims to identify the socio-demographic and correlates nursing as a career choice in 5th and 6th year school students. This cross-sectional descriptive study gathered self-administered questionnaires from a total cohort of 5th and 6th year school students (n = 1059) in one educational authority in Scotland. A response rate of 100% was achieved, with 702 students expressing a career choice. Some 71.7% (n = 503) of students providing a full data set would never consider nursing, even if they obtained poor grades. Only 28.3% (n = 199) would ever consider nursing. Students cited nursing as a career choice if they were female, of average to below average academic ability/achievement, expressed a positive attitude to nursing as a degree subject which was shared by their career guidance teacher. Each additional higher reduced the likelihood of nursing as a career choice by 22%. Nursing is an unpopular career choice amongst school students. Strategies are required to improve the occupational image of nursing in secondary education.