Shortages in the nursing profession are increasing. It is, therefore, imperative to understand why novice nurses are leaving the profession. This qualitative study explores Dutch novice nurses’ motives for leaving the profession. Individual semi-structured interviews were held with seventeen former novice nurses who had decided to leave nursing within two years after graduation. Data was collected and analysed following the principles of Thematic Analysis, leading to six themes; 1) Lack of challenge; ambitious to progress further in management or research roles. 2) Lack of passion; no feeling of passion for patient care. 3) Lack of perceived competence; not feeling “up to the challenge”. 4) Lack of job satisfaction due to heavy workload; work-life imbalance and inability to deliver high-quality care. 5) Lack of work capacity due to non-work-related health conditions; unmet requirements for job or work environment adjustment. 6) Lack of feeling of belonging; suffering from a negative attitude of colleagues to one another. To prevent novice nurse professional turnover, measures such as capacity building, supervisor support and a tailored personal development plan could be taken. To make novice nurses feel safe and reassured, support from colleagues and supervisors is important. Such measures require thoughtful implementation and evaluation.