In this article, the Eringen’s nonlocal elasticity theory has been incorporated into classical/local Bernoulli-Euler rod model to capture unique properties of the nanorods under the umbrella of continuum mechanics theory. The spectral finite element (SFE) formulation of nanorods is performed. SFE formulation is carried out and the exact shape functions (frequency dependent) and dynamic stiffness matrix are obtained as function of nonlocal scale parameter. It has been found that the small scale affects the exact shape functions and the elements of the dynamic stiffness matrix. The results presented in this paper can provide useful guidance for the study and design of the next generation of nanodevices that make use of the wave dispersion properties of carbon nanotubes.