Nitrated aromatic molecules have unique photoinduced channels. Due to the presence of oxygen-centered non-bonding orbitals, they can undergo sub-picosecond intersystem crossing showing one of the strongest couplings between the singlet and triplet manifolds among organic molecules. Several nitroaromatic compounds also have a distinctive nitric oxide photodissociation channel which occurs through a complex sequence of atom rearrangements and state changes. These remarkable processes have stimulated the attention of several research groups over the last few years who have applied modern femtosecond spectroscopies and new computational methods to these topics. Nitroaromatic molecules also have demonstrated their value as case-studies, where they can serve to understand the influence of torsional motions between the nitro substituent and the aromatic system in the conversions between states. In this contribution we highlight several of the recent results in this area. Due to the importance of the atmospheric photochemistry of nitrated compounds and their accumulating applications as nitric oxide release agents, continued research about the effects of the different state orderings, substitution patterns, and solvent effects is central to the development of future applications and for a better understanding of their environmental pathways. From this analysis, several pending issues are highlighted, which include the nature of the dominant singlet state involved in intersystem crossing, the role of the formation of charge-transfer states, the yield of the internal conversion channel to the electronic ground state, and a more generalized understanding of the sequence of steps which lead to nitric oxide dissociation.