• Health improvement profile;
  • mental illness;
  • nursing;
  • physical health;
  • training

PURPOSE:  The study aims to ascertain nurses' views on their preparedness to provide physical health care, and their identified training needs.

DESIGN AND METHODS:  The study used a qualitative exploratory design. Thirty-eight nurses working in a regional mental health setting participated in focus groups.

FINDINGS:  Three main themes were identified: (a) the need for physical healthcare training, (b) modes of training, (c) access to training, and (d) organizational commitment.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:  The philosophy and design of training must reflect workplace context, and take into account individual learning styles. Organizational support is crucial.