We report on the first diode-laser (nominal 200-mW 10-stripe laser diode) end-pump lasing of Nd:YVO4. The lowest threshold (30 mW) and highest output power (120 mW) were observed from the Nd:YVO4 laser as compared to a similar Nd:YAG laser. Over 50% optical slope efficiency was obtained, the highest yet reported for diode pumping. This device performed at a 10% overall efficiency. Measurements over a 21-nm range show the advantages of the Nd:YVO4 pump absorption band.