To determine whether nurse perceptions of patients are influenced by a patient's socioeconomic class, 78 nurse subjects observed slides and read about a patient and then rated him on a seven-point scale. Nurses were randomly given one of eight written descriptions in which the patient was identified as middle or lower class., with a more or a less serious and a more or a less socially acceptable illness. Results were subjected to 2 X 2 X 2 analysis of variance. Nurses were found to stereotype lower-class patients as dependent, passive, unintelligent, noncomprehending, ummotivated, lazy, forgetful, inaccurate, careless, uninformed, unsuccessful, and unreliable. Patients with less-acceptable illnesses were rated more negatively than those with more-acceptable illnesses and were perceived as sensitive, rigid, bored, and resistant to learning about their illness. Since nurses admitted they would feel embarrassed and would conceal having these less-acceptable illnesses themselves, these negative perceptions of patients may be projections of the nurses' feelings.