PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify personal, contextual, and cognitive factors influencing the career preparation behavior of Korean nursing students. In this study, an examination was done of the fitness of a path model for the relationship among these factors based on the social cognitive career theory. METHODS: The participants were 413 nursing students in South Korea. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires that included self-esteem, social support, self-efficacy, outcome expectation, career decision level, and career preparation behavior. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation analysis, and path analysis. RESULTS: The factors influencing career preparation behavior were self-efficacy, career decision level, self-esteem, outcome expectation, and social support. The factors influencing career decision level were self-efficacy, outcome expectation, self-esteem, and social support. CONCLUSION: The findings indicate that self-efficacy is an important factor influencing the career behavior of Korean nursing students. Nurse educators should consider personal, contextual, and cognitive factors of nursing students and develop systemic career guidance programs to help nursing students' career preparation behavior.