The unprecedented emergence of COVID-19 has disrupted education and has led to the rise of e-learning. The shift from the traditional delivery of instruction to online learning brings about varying perceptions that necessitates attention and exploration. This study examined nursing students’ attitudes towards e-learning in two selected nursing schools in the Philippines. This study used a descriptive cross-sectional design with 111 nursing students in a public and a private nursing school as study participants. The data were collected via an online survey tool and were analysed using the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis H test. The results indicated that most nursing students had intermediate computer competency (74.8%) and somewhat stable internet connection (66.7%). They generally had negative (40.5%) and ambivalent attitudes (30.6%) towards e-learning. The nursing students considered e-learning to be impersonal and to lack feeling (80.18%) and that it results in less student–teacher interaction (75.66%). There were no significant differences (p > .05) in the e-learning attitude according to the type of school, gender, ownership of a computer, level of computer competency, stability connection and internet usage. Although not statistically significant, those students with stable internet connections appear to have a better attitude towards e-learning. Ambivalence and negative attitudes seem to dominate nursing students’ attitudes towards e-learning in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing schools must rectify the negative attitudes of students towards e-learning and must take measures to improve students’ experiences in the virtual learning environment to ensure that effective learning is never compromised amid the health crisis.