Health care providers in three nursing homes in Ontario were surveyed to determine educational needs, barriers to meeting these needs, and the preferred format for education. Of the 415 health care providers asked to participate, 225 completed the questionnaire. Need was expressed for the majority of the 35 educational topics identified, including the role of the palliative care team, management of physical symptoms, pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of pain, stress management, spiritual needs, culture and death, and counseling. Group discussions and seminars were favored over traditional lectures. The primary factors influencing attendance at a palliative care workshop were loss of pay and time and location of the workshop.