Aims and objectives. This research study explored the factors which influenced the ability of children’s nurses to urethrally catheterise children in their care. Background. There is currently limited evidence to inform the clinical skills training of children’s nurses and the impact of competencies and other educational documents on practice. The project aimed to use data to inform local service provision and the design and development of future training programmes in an acute paediatric hospital. Design. A mixed method study using questionnaires and focus groups. Methods. Data were obtained through two focus groups (n = 10) and questionnaires (n = 34, response rate 88%) with trained children’s nurses to explore the influencing factors on their ability to conduct this clinical skill. Results. The children’s nurses discussed that barriers to being competent and confident to catheterise included a lack of exposure to the clinical skill, increasing awareness of the role of competencies and litigation and the presence of specialist roles. Current catheterisation training was evaluated positively with most nurses stating their knowledge and clinical skills had increased; despite this only 55% (n = 18) identified that would feel able to catheterise a child in their care. Conclusions. Comprehensive training of all children’s nurses in an acute care setting may not provide a workforce, which is competent and confident in urethrally catheterising children, and resources for training may be more appropriately deployed to ensure the optimum care of children and families. Relevance to clinical practice. This study highlights the difficulties encountered for clinical nurses to remain competent in infrequently used clinical skills. This has relevance to the challenges of providing a multi-skilled workforce in children’s nursing.