During the last decade, health care delivery has seen the introduction of ever more sophisticated and complex equipment. This means that the medical devices first used in critical and high dependency care units are now integral requirements in the delive ry of direct patient care in acute ward areas. Registered nurses are the primary users of such medical devices (McConnell 1995). This paper reports on a comparative pilot questionnaire study undertaken in one acute NHS Trust. The main aim of the study was to compare, identify and consider the issues which relate to the education of registered nurses (whether employed by hospital Trusts or nurse Banks) in the use of medical devices. The paper outlines primary findings concerning what UK registered nurses learn about the medical devices that they use in the direct care of patients, and the consequences of their use. The results will assist clinical and educational staff to identify the specific strengths and weaknesses within current education provision, which prepares nurses in the use of medical devices. In light of the results, appropriate evidence-based educational and training strategies can be designed or modified to address clinical governance and risk management issues.