Emotional intelligence (EI) has been highlighted as an important theoretical and practical construct. It has the potential to enable individuals to cope better and experience less stress thus contributing to a healthy and stable workforce.The study aimed to explore the EI of nursing students (n = 130, 52.0%) and its relationship to perceived stress, coping strategies, subjective well-being, perceived nursing competency and academic performance. Students were on the adult pathway of a nursing diploma or degree programme in one Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the United Kingdom (UK). A prospective correlational survey design was adopted. Three methods of data collection were used: i) A self-report questionnaire; ii) an audit of students' academic performance; and iii) mapping of EI teaching in the curricula.Emotional intelligence was positively related to well-being (p < 0.05), problem-focused coping (p < 0.05) and perceived nursing competency (p < 0.05), and negatively related to perceived stress (p < 0.05). The findings suggest that increased feelings of control and emotional competence assist nursing students to adopt active and effective coping strategies when dealing with stress, which in turn enhances their subjective well-being. This study highlights the potential value of facilitating the EI of students of nursing and other healthcare professions.