The aim of this exploratory, descriptive study was to examine Turkish nursing student substance use and to correlate use with a number of variables. Among the 829 surveyed students, the incidence of cigarette use was 22.7%, alcohol consumption 12.5%, and illicit drug use 1%. The starting age for smoking and alcohol consumption was 17-18, and ages 20-22 for illicit drug use. Significant correlations were found between age and smoking, alcohol consumption, religious belief, and between substance use and experiencing violence. This study may prompt nursing faculty to review current curricula and include structured content on topics related to substance use and prevention, further, to be alert for substance-related problems among their students.