To determine the number of programme specifications which cite play within the curriculum and in what context. Play is an essential part of childhood. Therefore we might expect nurses caring for children to be trained in how to facilitate play within their clinical areas. Programme specifications provide information on course aims, the intended learning outcomes and what the learner is expected to achieve.Design and Method:
Inductive qualitative content analysis.Results:
Only 13% (seven out of 54) programme specifications published by Higher Education Institutions cite play. Where play is mentioned there is a clear link made to use play as a communication tool. Also distraction figured prominently within the same sentence as play, despite these two terms being quite distinct. The availability of the programme specifications was also noted with 49% (28 out of 57) were easily accessible from the university web sites. A further 16% (9 out of 57) provided web links when access was requested. 35% were not publicly accessible without requesting access. Three Universities declined to be involved.Conclusion:
It is clear that even if play is embedded within the child field nursing curriculum, it is not clearly stated as a priority within 87% of universities programme specifications which make no mention of it.Practice Implications:
If play is not part of programme specifications its importance could be lost to educators already delivering a full curriculum. Nurses could be qualifying with little or no knowledge around their role in facilitating play for their patients.