In order to understand its response towards nickel stress, watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.) was exposed to nickel (1-25 mg/L) for 1, 3, 5 and 7 days. The accumulation and translocation of nickel were determined and the influence of nickel on biomass, protein content and enzymatic antioxidants was examined for both roots and leaves. It was determined that N. officinale could accumulate appreciable amounts of Ni in both roots and leaves. Nickel accumulated particularly in the roots of plants. Biomass increased at low nickel concentrations but certain measurable change was not found at high concentrations. Under stress conditions the antioxidant enzymes were up-regulated compared to control. An increase in protein content and enzyme activities was observed at moderate exposure conditions followed by a decline at both roots and leaves. The maximum enzyme activities were observed at different exposure conditions. Our results showed that N. officinale had the capacity to overcome nickel-induced stress especially at moderate nickel exposure. Therefore, N. officinale may be used as a phytoremediator in moderately polluted aquatic ecosystems.