Nurse education has undergone many changes over the last 30 years in line with the changing expectations of the nurse's role. A review of the literature suggests that nurses are inadequately prepared for their role in medication administration. With the introduction of nurse prescribing, the issue of education in pharmacology is becoming increasingly important. This paper describes a study conducted via a questionnaire survey of all nurse education institutions in England. The aim of the survey was to identify current pharmacology education provided for pre-registration nurses, in terms of curriculum design and content, and also to elicit the personal opinions of those involved in the delivery of nurse education. The results support the notion that many nurses may be inadequately prepared for the role that they are expected to perform once qualified. The reasons for this appear to be complex, though they may include insufficient guidelines from the nursing regulatory bodies, local political difficulties and a lack of consistency between educational establishments.