Aims: To (1) give an overview of rebel nurse leadership by summarising descriptions of positive deviance, tempered radicals and healthcare rebels; (2) examine the competences of nurse rebel leadership; and (3) describe factors that stimulate or hinder the development of rebel nurse leadership. Background: Research shows nurses have lower intention to leave their jobs when they can control their work practices, show leadership and provide the best care. However, organisational rules and regulations do not always fit the provision of good care, which challenges nurses to show leadership and deviate from the rules and regulations to benefit the patient. Three concepts describe this practice: positive deviance, healthcare rebels and tempered radicals. Design: Scoping review using the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology and PRISMA-ScR checklist. Methods: Papers describing positive deviance, healthcare rebels and tempered radicals in nursing were identified by searching Scopus, CINAHL, PubMed and PsycINFO. After data extraction, these three concepts were analysed to study the content of descriptions and definitions, competences and stimulating and hindering factors. Results: Of 2705 identified papers, 25 were included. The concept descriptions yielded three aspects: (1) positive deviance approach, (2) unconventional and non-confirmative behaviour and (3) relevance of networks and relationships. The competences were the ability to: (1) collaborate in/outside the organisation, (2) gain and share expert (evidence-based) knowledge, (3) critically reflect on working habits/ problems in daily care and dare to challenge the status quo and (4) generate ideas to improve care. The factors that stimulate or hinder the development of rebel nurse leadership are as follows: (1) dialogue and reflection, (2) networking conditions and (3) the managers’ role. Conclusions: Based on our analysis, we summarise the descriptions given of rebel nurse leadership, the mentioned competences and provide an overview of the factors that stimulate or hinder rebel nurse leadership.