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To describe nurses' perceptions of conditions for patient education, focusing on organisational, environmental and professional cooperation aspects, and to determine any differences between primary, municipal and hospital care.Although patient education is an important part of daily nursing practice, the conditions for this work are unclear and require clarification.A stratified random sample of 701 (83%) nurses working in primary, municipal and hospital care completed a 60-item questionnaire. The study is part of a larger project. The study items relating to organisation, environment and professional cooperation were analysed using descriptive statistics, non-parametric tests and content analysis.Conditions for patient education differ. Nurses in primary care had better conditions and more managerial support, for example in the allocation of undisturbed time.Conditions related to organisation, environment and cooperation need to be developed further. In this process, managerial support is important, and nurses must ask for better conditions in order to carry through patient education.Managerial support for the development of visible patient education routines (e.g. allocation of time, place and guidelines) is required. One recommendation is to designate a person to oversee educational work.