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The paper explores the relationship between nursing and higher education with particular reference to the development of nursing degree programmes in the United Kingdom The literature reveals that the contribution of nurse graduates to the profession has been examined to a limited extent however, this has predominantly taken the form of follow-up studies, the majority of which were conducted in the 1980s No empirically based work could be found which explores graduates’ practice of nursing, the absence of which is significant in view of the more recent change in the conventional training programme, Project 2000, and the introduction of a number of 3-year nursing degree courses