The nursing profession had made remarkable advances over the decades, yet the nurses’ self-concept and social image had been a subject of discussion among patients. The discussion is usually centered on the identification of nursing work which lacks clarity and devalues the profession. This study therefore, sought the views of registered nurses in health facilities of federal tertiary educational institutions on professional identity and mental health among registered nurses in Lagos state. Qualitative study involved in-depth interview of fifteen nurses and three out-patients. Respondents were purposively selected. Patients were also interviewed to enhance respondents’ validation. The study used thematic analysis for analyzing the data. Most of the nurses admitted that most public perceptions about them were in the negative but affirmed that nursing was their passion and they were proud of it. They attributed some of the negative tendencies to work overload, inappropriate placement and makeshift facilities that amplified work pressure, leading to emotional and psychological burnout. This calls for proper needs assessment involving stakeholders to achieve a sound profession that would enhance national development.