Objectives: The Broad objective: To assess knowledge and attitudes of secondary school students in Ilala district towards the nursing profession. Specific objectives: To determine the awareness of nursing as a profession by secondary school students in Ilala district, explore factors that promote aspiration to enroll in nursing schools and to explore factors that deter aspiration to enroll in nursing schools. Methods: The study was exploratory cross sectional using both qualitative and quantitative methods and was conducted in Azania and Jangwani secondary schools in Ilala district. The sample size included 50 male and 50 female students who were opting for Physics, Chemistry and Biology from form III to form VI in the above mentioned schools. Results: Awareness above 50% for males was 79.2% (95%CI: 66.6, 91.8) while that of females was 76.9 % (95% CI: 65.4, 88.4). Awareness below 50% was 31.4% (95%CI: 8.4, 54.4) for the males while that for females was 31.1% (95% CI: 11.3, 50.9). Non awareness was mostly about nurses being capable of independent practice, making decisions for themselves, working with high technology, following physician’s orders without questioning and feeling good about what they do. Factors that were pointed out included: social, economical, educational and individual perceptions of different students. Although students were aware of nursing, they did not want to opt to join the profession. Conclusion: This study has shown that students are at least aware of the profession but they do not want to opt for it due to the image they have of it from the public. The factors that have been addressed in this research have to be put in consideration if at all we are to increase the nurse patient ratio in Tanzania.