Purpose: In 2015, South Korea had the highest global smartphone penetration (88%). However, smartphone addiction can seriously disrupt daily life and have a major negative impact on academic achievement. Methods: A structured questionnaire was completed by 250 nursing students for this descriptive study. Results: Students who were older, more satisfied with their major, exercised, and used their smartphone for less than 30 minutes before sleeping had higher learning engagement than those who were younger, less satisfied, did not exercise and used their smartphone for more than three hours. Quality of sleep and smartphone addiction were negatively correlated as was quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness. Interestingly, sleep pattern did not impact learning engagement directly. Conclusion: Smartphone usage influences learning engagement of nursing students rather than their sleeping patterns, which suggests a need to develop self-disciplining strategies for smartphone use to enhance learning engagement.