Musculoskeletal complaints (MSCs) arise during nursing education. We examined cross-sectional associations between self-reported MSCs and both sociodemographic and workplace characteristics in different clinical placement settings. We included two observations among three cohorts of third-year Dutch nursing students (total N = 711) of the undergraduate nursing program of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Questionnaire data on sociodemographic, physical and psychosocial work characteristics, and MSCs were used. Generalized estimating equation analysis for repeated measurements with backward elimination was used to examine associations with MSCs. In total, 79% of students experienced MSCs. Female sex (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.22–0.62), lifting and bending (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00–1.03), physical job demands (OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.68–3.22) and need for recovery (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01–1.03), were statistically significantly associated with overall MSCs. Models for regional complaints are also presented in this article. Nursing school and clinical placement staff should consider these factors when dealing with nursing students with MSCs.