Understanding the factors that predict academic performance of nursing students is one of the major goals of universities and schools of nursing globally. The aim of this study was to determine the predictors of academic performance among undergraduate nursing students. A search was carried out using various databases and journals (Science Direct, Escohost, BioMed Central, PubMed, SAGE Journals and Directory of Open Access Journals) for the period from 2006 to 2016. Two independent reviewers assessed the methodological quality of the shortlisted studies. The results are presented in textual narrative. The 17 studies included in this review represented five countries. The results of this review highlighted that older students, female gender, English language proficiency, majority ethnic status, pre-admission qualifications, high admission GPA, high supplemental application score, high pre-admission science GPA, selecting nursing as first choice for study, participating in organised music programmes, homework completion, lecture attendance, kinaesthetic learning approach, performance in psychology modules, emotional intelligence, self-control and resilience are significant predictors of academic performance among nursing students.