The researchers surveyed nursing students yearly during their three-year education, and examined active and emotional engagement. We examined the association of these properties with seven independent variables: higher educational institution, class size, age, gender, prior assistant nurse education, study experience and self-rated health. This longitudinal study included 1,334 students from 24 universities and university colleges in Sweden. Active engagement increased and emotional engagement decreased during the study years. Male students, older students and those with prior assistant nurse education had higher active engagement than other students. Older students, females, students with good self-rated health and those attending universities had higher emotional engagement. Study results suggest that higher educational institutions should pay more attention to students active and emotional engagement in learning situations, since this may increase the ability of the students to cope with stressful events during their education, giving them an extra resource on which they can draw.