Background: Better understanding of the characteristics of interventions which are attractive to nurses is required in order to implement effective hand hygiene interventions. Methods: The intervention characteristics were derived from diffusion of innovation theory (DIT): relative advantage, compatibility, simplicity, trialability, and observability. To identify nurses’ preferences for the five characteristics, a discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted. Participants were nurses working at Taiwanese tertiary care hospitals selected through stratified sampling. In addition, the hand hygiene moment (before or after patient contact) was taken into consideration in the DCE to investigate whether nurses’ preferences for the intervention characteristics were the same at different hand hygiene moments. Results: This survey was conducted between 1 October and 31 December 2014. Among 200 nurses from three Taiwanese tertiary care hospitals, significant preferences for the five intervention characteristics were observed. That is, when an intervention makes the hand hygiene activity more convenient (p<0.001), when nurses participate in the design of the intervention (p<0.001), when an intervention is explained well to nurses before implementing it (p<0.001), when the evidence of hand hygiene is provided at a trial stage to show its effectiveness (p<0.001), and when nurses’ hand hygiene performance is observable to their peers (p<0.001), nurses are more willing to wash their hands with high compliance. In addition, nurses preferred for providing evidence at a trial stage most, and well explanation about the intervention to increase simplicity was least. The rankings of the preference for the five intervention characteristics were the same at different hand hygiene moments (p = 0.453) Conclusions: The findings suggest policy directions for decision makers aiming to improve overall hand hygiene compliance in healthcare facilities.