The findings reported in this paper are part of a larger study examining student socialization into nursing In analysing the data, it became evident that two major factors influenced the students’ learning in the clinical setting the first was the clinical instructor, the second peer support Instructors who were organized, encouraging, outgoing, and who had good relationships with students, patients and nursing staff were seen as‘good’ role models When instructors were unable to establish rapport on a unit, negative feedback from nursing staff could be detrimental to student learning Peer support encompassed three dimensions facilitating learning, providing emotional support, and assisting with physical tasks There was evidence that practising faculty had a stronger influence in shaping students’ attitudes towards nursing than classroom teachers