Purpose: This study was to identify the stop-out experiences of female nursing students. Stop-out is defined as the withdrawal temporarily from enrollment at a university. Methods: Data was collected through in-depth individual interviews from February 2013 to February 2014 (N=8) and analyzed with Colaizzi’s phenomenological methodology. The participants were interviewed once or twice, for 30minutes to 1hour per interview. Results: Five theme-clusters were identified from 14 themes. The theme-clusters were ``Craving for self-directed life``, ``Anxiety about leaving regular orbit``, ``Responsibility for selection of the stop-out``, ``Reinvention of self and nursing major``, and ``Making of mental power``. Conclusion: The results showed that the stop-out experience of female nursing students in this study has positive aspects in craving for self-directed life and challenges to live a new life. Therefore research is needed on various angles in studying stop-out experience as well as balance quantitative and qualitative research methods. Also it is suggested that continuous managements should be given to the students during stop-out period.