Aim: This descriptive correlational study aimed to identify nurses’ perceptions of their own disaster preparedness and core competencies. Background: As disasters have increased in number and severity in recent years, it is crucial that nurses should be appropriately prepared. There is still limited research on this issue in Turkey. Introduction: With changes in disaster policies in the last decade, the need to improve the disaster core competencies of nurses has also increased. Methods: A sample of 406 nurses selected with convenience sampling and working in an 1816-bed capacity university hospital was included in this descriptive correlational study. A single-item visual scale and the 45-item Nurses Perceptions of Disaster Core Competencies Scale were used. Results: ‘Technical Skills’ scored highest across the subscales of the scale, and ‘Critical Thinking Skills’ scored lowest. When the total and subscale scores were compared by age group, professional experience, working position and prior disaster experience, there were statistically significant differences. Conclusions: The Turkish nurses had different levels of disaster core competencies and considered themselves more competent in some areas of disaster preparedness than in others. There are clearly gaps to be filled in disaster preparedness and core competencies in Turkish nurses. Implications for nursing and policy: Nurse managers should advocate for increasing disaster preparedness for all nurses. This could be accomplished by offering formal training in disaster preparedness and/or by scheduling regular disaster drills, perhaps using a mix of tabletop exercises with occasional hospital-wide disaster scenarios. In addition, managers should regularly evaluate nurses’ disaster core competencies to achieve effective preparation plans and training.