Background/problem: Stigma and stigmatization are important concepts in the area of mental health and illness. Nursing and nurse education are continuously examining ways to understand and address the stigma toward people with a lived experience of mental illness. While the negative influence of stigma is understood, the variables that influence these behaviors are emerging. An area may provide insight into aspects that influence stigmatization of pre-registration nurses is motivation. Previous research has illustrated that individual motivation can significantly predict and influence work-related behaviors and actions across a range of work settings. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the predictive influence that the motivational needs, as espoused by Self-Determination Theory, play in the stigmatization of pre-registration nurse toward people with a lived experience of mental illness. Approach: A total of 168 pre-registration nurses completed two surveys that measured support for their psychological needs and their stigmatization of people with a lived experience of mental illness. Outcomes/conclusions: Using a regression analysis, some psychological needs significantly influenced the stigmatization of pre-registration nurses. Results illustrate the potential importance of psychological needs in the training of the future nursing workforce.