Alcohol Education and Training in Pre-Registration Nursing: A National Survey to Determine Curriculum Content in the United Kingdom (UK)

Aisha Holloway, B Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Alcohol-related harm impacts significantly on the health of the population. Nurses are often among the first health professionals that many patients with alcohol-related problems come into contact with and have been identified as playing a key role but may be ill-prepared to respond. Future nurses need to have the skills, knowledge and clinical confidence to respond to patients suffering from alcohol-related harm. A pre-registration curriculum that ensures a nursing workforce fit for practice in responding to alcohol-related harm is necessary.

To determine the level of alcohol education and training content in the pre-registration curriculum for nursing in the United Kingdom (UK). To establish whether there are variations in the pre-registration curriculum content across the UK.

A descriptive study.

All 68 UK Higher Education Institutions offering a total of 111 pre-registration courses for nurses were invited to participate in the study.

Twenty nine completed questionnaires were returned, a response rate of 26%. The largest number of identified responders were from England (n=15), with 3 from Scotland and 1 each from Wales and Northern Ireland. Nine Universities chose not to identify themselves.

An online semi-structured questionnaire survey was used to collect the study data.

Teaching of alcohol and alcohol related harm was mainly delivered during the second year of a pre-registration nursing programme provided mainly to adult and mental health students. Overall, the majority of alcohol related content that is provided within the responding pre-registration nursing courses relates to biophysiology, aetiology, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.

This study highlights the need for a greater and more relevant focus of alcohol education to pre-registration nursing students of all fields of practice incorporating an integrated approach across all years of study.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date12 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Nursing
  • Education
  • Universities
  • Surveys
  • Pre-registration
  • Curriculum


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