Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine potential differences in identity commitment and career success perceptions between casually and permanently employed nurses. Specifically, it aims to investigate whether casually employed nurses have lower levels of commitment to their professional identity, as compared to permanently employed nurses, and whether this in turn negatively affects their perceptions of career success. Design/methodology/approach - Role identity theory was used to predict the career success perceptions of casually employed (n=181) versus permanently employed (n=476) nurses. Data were collected via a self-report questionnaire. Findings - The data revealed that casual nurses had lower levels of identity commitment and more negative career success perceptions. Affective commitment fully mediated the relationship between employment status and subjective career success. Research limitations/implications - Future studies should test the replicability of these findings with longitudinal data. Originality/value - This paper provides novel insights to the temporary employment and careers literatures. Given the previously uncharted territory of understanding the role of identity in the career success perceptions of different categories of workers, it opens avenues for future research, while also answering theoretical questions about the identity and career consequences of temporary employment.