The purpose of this study was to determine nursing students' leadership and emotional intelligence. The study was conducted as a descriptive study in a nursing school in 2008. The sample comprised 69 junior and 85 senior nursing students and was based on voluntary participation. Data were collected through a data sheet, a leadership style questionnaire, and the Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Quotient Inventory. There were no statistically significant differences in leadership orientations and emotional intelligence between junior and senior students (p > 0.05). Although there was a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and task-oriented leadership (r = 0.427, p = 0.001), there was no significant relationship between emotional intelligence and people-oriented leadership (r = 0.076, p = 0.367). Students' emotional intelligence score was average, and their people-oriented leadership score was approximately half of the total score. It is recommended to develop strategies for improving nursing students' people-oriented leadership skills during their nursing education.