The literature review has been carried out to examine the role of nurses as patient teachers. It attempts to determine why patient education is necessary and why it should be part ofthe nurse's role. Included is an account ofthe abilities required by the nurse in order to function in that role. It is generally agreed that it is part ofthe nurse's role to educate patients but this is often not carried out in reality. Where it is done it is mostly unplanned and haphazard in manner and the effectiveness uncertain. There are many reasons cited why this is the case and many of these reasons relate to the inadequate education and training of nurses for this role. Registered nurses are responsible for the nursing care of patients which should include their education. In order to be able to provide the necessary education nurses must have the opportunity to be taught to develop the appropriate skills during basic training. As a result, a study is now underway to attempt to determine the extent to which student nurses are being prepared for their role as patient educators during basic training.