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This study refined the concept of resilience and developed four valid and reliable subscales to measure resilience, namely, Determination, Endurance, Adaptability and Recuperability. The study also assessed their hypothesized relationships with six antecedent variables (worry, physiological needs satisfaction, organizational socialization, conscientiousness, future orientation and Chinese values) and with one outcome variable (nurses’ career success). The four new 10-item subscale measures of personal resilience were constructed based on their operational definitions and tested for their validity and reliability. All items were included in a questionnaire completed by 244 full-time nurses at two hospitals in China. All four measures demonstrated concurrent validity and had high reliabilities (from 0.74 to 0.78). The hypothesized correlations with the personality and organizational variables were statistically significant and in the predicted directions. Regression analyses confirmed these relationships, which explained 25–32% of the variance for the four resilience facets and 27% of the variance for the nurses’ career success. The results provided strong evidence that organizational socialization facilitates resilience, that resilience engenders career success and that identifying the four resilience facets permits a more complete understanding of personal resilience, which could benefit nurses, help nurse administrators with their work and also help in treating patients.