Background Sleep problems are much more prevalent in nursing home residents than in their community-dwelling counterparts. Cognitive behavioural therapy is likely to improve sleep quality in older adults. However, these interventions have a narrow scope to generalise to nursing home practice, and there are minimal data on the effectiveness of the integration of cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing in nursing home settings. Aim The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a nurse-led sleep programme on the sleep quality and depressive symptomatology in cognitively intact nursing home residents. Methods A non-randomised controlled study design was applied to 52 older adults living in three different nursing homes in the same locality. Then, we categorised our study cohort into the following two groups: intervention group in which the older adults received the nurse-led sleep programme and control group in which the older adults received regular nursing home services. One nursing home was assigned to the intervention, and two were assigned to control. The intervention group participated in four weekly 1-hr sessions performed by the first author. Results Follow-up assessments conducted at 8 and 12 weeks after the intervention ended revealed that participants in the intervention group experienced a significant improvement in some objective sleep parameters, including awakenings, total wake time, wake after sleep onset and sleep efficiency, as well as a significant decrease in depressive symptomatology. Conclusion To summarise, the results of this study showed that the nurse-led sleep programme improved the sleep quality and reduced depressive symptomatology in cognitively intact nursing home residents. In this context, we can assert that interventions for sleep problems should be individualised by addressing sleep experience and sleep management strategies of older adults living in nursing homes and should be integrated with motivational interviewing techniques.