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The background to the legalization of nurse prescribing is reviewed and a small questionnaire survey of health visitors and district nurses described Significantly more district nurses than health visitors wanted to become nurse prescribers Health visitor knowledge of some parasiticidal lotions and antifungal agents was found to be variable and the recommended dose of paracetamol for post-immunization pyrexia was recognized by less than two-thirds of the sample District nurse knowledge of lactulose was limited in comparison to their knowledge of alginate and hydrocolloid dressings, however, their knowledge of factors other than dressing type which enhance or delay healing was variable The mean knowledge scores of both the health visitors and district nurses were unacceptably low for prescribing purposes The majority of the total sample stated that they would like further training, with a preference for such provision in the form of study days