Aims and objectives. The purpose of this study was to pursue a deeper understanding of nurses' perceptions of a computerized nursing care plan as written in comments on a survey. Background. Studies have examined nurses' perceptions of computer use, but comments written on surveys of computerized nursing care planning have never been reported and the pattern and meaning of such feedback have not been systematically analysed. Design. Of 738 nurses in Taiwan who completed a two-part survey to evaluate a computerized nursing care plan, 202 responded on part II to an open-ended question about overall perceptions of a nursing information system. Methods. A sample of 10 questionnaires with comments was subjected to qualitative content analysis. Key words and phrases were identified, then grouped into categories, which were used to code the remaining respondents' comments. Another 20 were used to pilot test these coding categories. The final coding categories were applied to all 202 questionnaires with comments for data analysis. Results. Nurses were concerned about inconvenient access to computers; reduced work efficiency; inability to individualize patient care and nursing specialty deficiencies; poor content design, system function, and system integration; using the system as a policy requirement; and privacy and legal issues. Conclusions. Hardware availability, content design and user training/education programmes are critical issues that affect nurses' use of computers in their daily practice. Relevance to clinical practice. These comments can be applied in strategic planning and staff development programmes to further use of information systems in patient care.