The purpose of this study was to identify nurses' computer training needs. A 20-statement questionnaire was circulated to 30 nurses. From the 26 responses received, a profile was created of the target group (nurses working in a teaching hospital), with a view to determining their current and desired level of knowledge. A number of diverse training needs were revealed through the study. The most interesting aspects, from the nurses' point of view, were those related to clinical practice and education. Figure one illustrates the low level of current knowledge of computer science. Figure two, however, demonstrates the high level of interest on the part of respondents (desired level) in becoming more computer literate and their wish to use computers in a wide range of applications, including teaching, health care delivery, clinical decision making and in-service training. Figure three highlights the training needs identified under each statement. The establishment of an information system in a teaching hospital setting is not dealt with in this article. This will be the subject of a second article, to appear next month. A number of teaching variables are described here, including the instructor, the learner, the training process itself, content, media and budgetary constraints. The outline of a training program will be proposed in a third and final article.