There has been a prolific development of distance education in nursing during the previous decade. This has not been supported by an increase in research activity to generate the knowledge that is required to support these developments. In response to this, within a wider action research approach, a team of academics undertook a study to examine post-qualifying nurses' experiences of distance learning, and the impact of distance education on lecturing staff. Five teaching modules, delivered through distance learning, were selected for the study using a matrix sampling technique. Data collection took place at key points during these modules: at the commencement of study students and lecturers were asked to maintain a diary account of their experiences, students were sent questionnaires at the mid point of the module (n = 115, 30.4% return rate), and at the end of the module the students and lecturers participated in one of nine group interviews (students = 15; lecturers = 15). Findings suggest that distance education is an effective learning medium that enables students to balance learning with personal and work commitments. Students and lecturers face a transitional period when embarking on distance education and this involves the development of new understandings and skills to successfully adapt to this approach to education.