AIM:To determine the proportion of trials published in nursing science journals in 2017 that were prospectively registered. DESIGN:A review of randomized controlled trials published in a Journal Citation Report nursing science journal in 2017. DATA SOURCE:Table of contents of included journals. REVIEW METHODS:Randomized controlled trials were identified by manually reviewing the title of all papers published in included journals. Included trials were classified as: (a) Prospectively registered; (b) Retrospectively registered; (c) Registered but registration not reported in the manuscript; (d) Indeterminate registration; and (e) Not registered. Additionally, we recorded if the trial registration number was reported in the manuscript abstract. RESULTS:Of 151 randomized controlled trials published in nursing science journals in 2017, 17 (11%) were prospectively registered. Thirty-six (24%) trials were retrospectively and 93 (62%) not registered. We could not determine the registration status of five (3%) trials. The registration number was included in the abstract of two prospectively and eight retrospectively registered studies. Compared with the rest of the world, trial registration rates were significantly lower in Asian countries. CONCLUSION:Two included trials were prospectively registered and reported a registration number in the abstract. Compared with other disciplines, rates of prospective trial registration are low. Nurse trialists must ensure that they prospectively register all trials. IMPACT:We intended to replicate this review in subsequent years with a view to reporting improvements in prospective registration rates over time.