The competency based pre-registration nursing curriculum was introduced to address concerns about levels of confidence and competence in skills of newly qualified Project 2000 educated nurses [Department of Health, 1999. Making a Difference: Strengthening the Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting Contribution to Health and Healthcare. The Stationary Office, London]. This study sought to examine whether the implementation of the competency recommendations has led to improvements in the confidence of nursing students in their clinical skills. A self-administered questionnaire examining ratings of confidence in areas of nursing practice and core competencies as specified by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) [UKCC, 2001. Requirements for Pre-registration Nursing Programmes. UKCC, London] was administered to 139 final year adult nursing students who were studying with the Project 2000 or competency curriculum. The response rate was 53%, results indicating that the students studying the competency curriculum have higher levels of confidence in all areas of their practice targeted by the competency recommendations than students studying in the Project 2000 curriculum. The positive effect that the competency recommendations had upon levels of confidence in nursing practice, and the implications of such changes to curricula are discussed.