This paper provides a debate related to how proposed changes to preregistration nurse preparation in the United Kingdom (UK) may impact on the future of undergraduate mental health nursing workforce. In the first instance we set out the proposed changes and the underlying reasoning provided for these changes. We compare the proposals in relation to the present curricula and possible outcomes of mental health nursing education in the UK. Our discussion also considers if there are lessons to be learned from the Australian and New Zealand where nursing education underwent similar changes during the 1990s. We offer a critique of the underlying political, economic and ideological reasons for these radial changes to nursing education with due consideration of lessons learned by others.