The concept of stigma and the stigmatizing behaviours of health-care professionals can have a profound influence on people with mental illness. A key construct that has been identified as influencing our behaviours is self-determination. As such, in the present study, we attempted to examine the connection and influence of motivational measures on the stigmatization of preregistration nurses. Data were collected once using three surveys that measured the motivational responses and stigmatizing behaviours of preregistration nurses after an approved mental health clinical placement. Using a path analysis, the results indicated that psychological needs significantly influenced preregistration nurses’ self-determination towards work. In addition, self-determination was a significant influence on the stigmatization behaviours of preregistration nurses. The results of the present study provide initial empirical evidence that supports the importance of professional self-determination and the potential connection of quality care, as illustrated with the low stigmatizing behaviours of preregistration nurses who are more self-determined towards their work/career. Because of the significant results of the present study, it is recommended that future research is needed that uses self-determination theory as a lens to understand the application and importance within the field of nurse education.