This paper reports on findings from a qualitative study which explores why British and German nurses embarked on a Masters in Nursing Studies programme and their expectations from such a course. Semi structured interviews were undertaken with ten German and nine British nurses in venues across Germany and the United Kingdom, and interview transcripts analysed using a 'template approach'. Findings indicate that nurses sought a personal and professional challenge, with more German nurses embarking on the course for professional reasons associated with career enhancement. UK nurses attended to upgrade their knowledge and skills above that of the pre-registration student, and nurses from both countries hoped that an MSc. would increase their credibility and result in personal achievement. German nurses were attracted to learning about 'nursing science', receiving an award from a UK university and being able to access the course in Germany. Both groups of nurses expected to gain insight into the evidence base for practice and how this could be utilised to improve their work. The information gained from this study can be utilised by nurse educationalists in aiding recruitment and developing Masters curricula.