PURPOSE: This research aims to understand the perceptions of nursing homes from the perspective of the elderly, explores the themes of such perception and provides supporting evidence for developing nursing intervention that focuses on the subjects of care within nursing homes. METHODS: This research is based on qualitative research in a phenomenological methodology. The research participants included elders aged 67~83 living at home in Jeonnam, Jeonbuk Provinces and G City. Data collection methodologies included in-depth interviews and observation of participants. The data were analyzed in the phenomenological methodology by Colaizzi. RESULTS: As a result of the research, it was found that all significant statements about the Korean elders' perception of nursing homes fell within 3 categories with 9 major themes and 23 minor themes. The three observed categories for the Korean elders' perception on nursing homes were: 'places they do not like to be in', 'places they have to be in' and 'places that makes them feel fortunate as they have a place to go'. CONCLUSION: This research provides foundational tools that will provide a steer for changes in nursing environment, physiological support, programs and education so that the needs of the elderly can be met more sufficiently.