BACKGROUND: Recent United Kingdom government policy emphasises that prescribing by nurses can improve access to medicines. However, the views of nurses prescribing for children have not been explored. AIM: To explore the views of children's nurses working in a specialist hospital on the adoption of the prescribing role in their practice. METHOD: A longitudinal, qualitative approach was adopted using thematic analysis on semi-structured interview data collected during 2006 and 2007. Participants were seven children's nurses who were qualified nurse prescribers. FINDINGS: Nurse prescribing was reported to improve efficiency, allow nurses to complete episodes of care and improve communication with patients. This was believed to enhance quality of care and job satisfaction for nurses. CONCLUSION: Children's nurses' capacity to prescribe medicines contributes to healthcare policy. Further research is recommended to substantiate these findings.