Objective: To investigate the state of knowledge on emotional intelligence (EI) education in pre-registration nursing programmes. Design: Integrative literature review. Data sources: CINAHL, Medline, Scopus, ERIC, and Web of Knowledge electronic databases were searched for abstracts published in English between 1992-2014. Review methods: Data extraction and constant comparative analysis of 17 articles. Results: Three categories were identified: Constructs of emotional intelligence; emotional intelligence curricula components; and strategies for emotional intelligence education. Conclusions: A wide range of emotional intelligence constructs were found, with a predominance of trait-based constructs. A variety of strategies to enhance students' emotional intelligence skills were identified, but limited curricula components and frameworks reported in the literature. An ability-based model for curricula and learning and teaching approaches is recommended.