In the health care system of the Republic of Croatia, there are 30 000 nurses. More than 7000 of them have college or university professional qualifications. Nursing education consists of secondary-level vocational education followed by two cycles of university-level education – baccalaureate and diploma cycle. A PhD cycle, which would allow the development of scientific career for nurses, does not exist. The secondary-level vocational school qualifications are not recognized by the European Union educational system, requiring a necessary reform in that field. The education of nurses should be attuned with the needs of health care institutions, and nursing care should be based on modern categorization of patients, standards of nursing practice, and clearly defined responsibilities. However, the Croatian Ministry of Health has not yet defined the necessary number of nurses in Croatia or their required educational level. Licensing registered nurses is another great problem that the health care system is facing, because Croatian nurses with only secondary vocational qualifications do not meet the requirements for licensing. The current legislation on nursing is still only formal and not implemented on a wide scale in the health care system. Considering the new trends, nurses in Croatia should work on developing a new systematization of workplaces and more accurate assessment of the job complexity index and nursing salary.