PURPOSE: This study was carried out to identify and re-establish the professional identity in clinical nurses. METHOD: From Dec. 1999, for 4 months, the study had been conducted by narrative analysis method based on hermeneutic principles. Subjects were ten nurses with 3-4 years of nursing experience at a university hospital. The data were collected and transcribed through narrative interviews. RESULT: As a result, the maternal role was identified as the most dominant discourse in which nurses formed their identity. Subjects felt that a maternity is socio-culturally needed in case of nursing. Reconstruction of professional identity consists of 3 stages, Telling, Retelling and Rebuilding. At first, nurses felt confused by skeptism of the profession, interpersonal difficulties, and heavy work loads. However, during the interviews, nurses recognized that nursing is not regarded as significant, effort to make nursing meaningful were small, and there was a lack of understanding others. From this new insight, they re-established a new image of nursing "through better understanding of others, seeking knowledge, and making positive efforts towards qualified nursing". CONCLUSION: The above narrative interviews may help nurses reflect and contextually interpret themselves, so that a new identity could be established. Furthermore researchers can obtain new insight from the subjects, while the subjects form a new nursing image from self-reflection.