Helping nursing students develop critical thinking ability has become increasingly important. Assessment of beginning students' critical thinking abilities is necessary for the development and evaluation of good nursing curriculum. The purposes of this study were to examine the critical thinking abilities of baccalaureate nursing students upon entering and to analyze the correlates of these abilities. We used purposive sampling in this study. The participants included 215 first-year nursing students from an institute of technology in Taiwan. During the first 2 weeks of school, data were collected using the Chinese critical thinking questionnaire developed by Cheng et al. The results indicate that the average score of the total critical thinking ability upon entering school was 40.26, which was in the middle range. Critical thinking abilities varied greatly among individuals. The influencing factors were age, years of working experience, and current working status. The findings can be used in designing curriculum for baccalaureate nursing students. Furthermore, the findings can help teachers in devise a system to help students with various backgrounds further develop their critical thinking abilities.