From October 1994 qualified district nurses and health visitors from eight demonstration sites in England have been able to prescribe from a limited list of formulary items. Data collected from nurses formed only one part of the evaluation of nurse prescribing. These data highlighted a number of areas where prescribing nurses were faced with difficult decisions. A number of authors have considered how both doctors and nurses make decisions, and the factors which may influence the decision making process. With reference to the literature this paper focuses on the findings related to decision making in the context of nurse prescribing.