Emotional intelligence (EI) has enjoyed growing attention from researchers, educationalists and the public. Arguably, disagreement over the exact nature of EI fuelled by a low level of widely accepted empirical data has stalled its wider application into some areas of professional training. While enjoying significant popularity in areas such as business and leadership, EI remains largely absent from the curriculum of nursing. This paper argues that EI forms the very cornerstone upon which sits desirable mental health nursing abilities as identified by users and recent professional reviews. While distance education and e-learning play an increasingly significant role in nurse education, the enhancement of EI occurs primarily through a socialization process necessitating a ‘repackaging’ of the nursing curriculum. This paper also proposes that through using service user needs and recent professional reviews as a source for learning outcomes an outline of this ‘repacking’ can be achieved.