This paper will trace the history and continuing development of the 'Bologna Process' whose aim is to create convergence of higher education across the European Union by 2010. It will identify how this will have profound implications for graduate nurse education and present opportunities for students, graduate nurses, teachers and researchers in terms of mobility and employment as well as collaborative research. Although supportive, the paper questions whether these reforms will provide the much-needed impetus to raise the educational status of the vast majority of European nurses from diploma to graduate level. Barriers to achieving the ideal of an all-graduate EU nursing workforce are discussed in an economic and political context. The main thrust of the paper is that, if this were achieved, it would have a positive impact on the health care systems and populations of participating countries as well as their economies.