Research Output
Alcohol education and training in pre-registration nursing: A national survey to determine curriculum content in the United Kingdom (UK)
  Background: Alcohol-related harm impacts significantly on the health of the population. Nurses are often
among the first health professionals that many patients with alcohol-related problems come into contact
with and have been identified as playing a key role but may be ill-prepared to respond. Future nurses need
to have the skills, knowledge and clinical confidence to respond to patients suffering from alcohol-related
harm. A pre-registration curriculum that ensures a nursing workforce fit for practice in responding to
alcohol-related harm is necessary.
Objectives: To determine the level of alcohol education and training content in the pre-registration curriculumfor
nursing in the United Kingdom (UK). To establish whether there are variations in the pre-registration curriculum
content across the UK.
Design: A descriptive study.
Setting: All 68 UK Higher Education Institutions offering a total of 111 pre-registration courses for nurses were
invited to participate in the study.
Participants: Twenty nine completed questionnaireswere returned, a response rate of 26%. The largest number of
identified responders were from England (n=15), with 3 from Scotland and 1 each from Wales and Northern
Ireland. Nine Universities chose not to identify themselves.
Methods: An online semi-structured questionnaire survey was used to collect the study data.
Results: Teaching of alcohol and alcohol related harm was mainly delivered during the second year of a
pre-registration nursing programme provided mainly to adult and mental health students. Overall, the majority
of alcohol related content that is provided within the responding pre-registration nursing courses relates to
biophysiology, aetiology, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
Conclusion: This study highlights the need for a greater and more relevant focus of alcohol education to
pre-registration nursing students of all fields of practice incorporating an integrated approach across all years
of study.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 September 2013

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.7 Medical education, research & nursing

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Holloway, A. S., & Webster, B. J. (2013). Alcohol education and training in pre-registration nursing: A national survey to determine curriculum content in the United Kingdom (UK). Nurse Education Today, 33(9), 992-997.



Alcohol consumption, nursing, education, universities, surveys, pre-registration, curriculum

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