The aim was to describe how nurses in different professional levels evaluated their professional self and perceived barriers to research utilization in paediatric care. The sample consisted of three groups of nurses: control, trainee and specialists (n = 113) employed at two Paediatric University hospitals in Sweden. The control and trainee groups were nurses with a general education and the specialists had a specialist education in paediatric care. The nurses answered the two questionnaires: the Professional Self Description Form (PSDF) and the Barriers Scale. The results showed that the highest scores in the PSDF were found in sensitivity in all the three groups and consideration (in control and specialist group) and creativity (trainee group). The control group scored significantly higher in the item persistence. In the Barriers Scale, the three groups scored the greatest barriers in; 'there is insufficient time on the job to implement new ideas' and 'the nurses do not have time to read research'. The lowest barriers were found in; 'the nurse is unwilling to change/try new ideas' and 'the nurse is unaware of research'. The specialist nurses had significantly higher barriers in; 'the nurse is isolated from knowledgeable colleagues with whom to discuss the research', 'the nurse is unwilling to try new ideas' and 'administration will not allow implementation'. No correlations were found between the PSDF and the Barriers Scale. In conclusion, the self-evaluation of professional self and perceived research utilization showed few differences between the nurses. These findings indicate that the professional self is independent of educational level and work experiences while barriers to research utililization increases with competence and experience.