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This paper describes a research study undertaken by the first author, which explored and analysed registered nurses' experiences of mentoring undergraduate nursing students within a single health authority in England The study design was qualitative and data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 12 mentors The findings of the study indicate that mentoring undergraduate nursing students is a complex and skilled activity, requiring educational preparation, support and recognition The potential for mentoring to further the personal and professional development of mentors is highlighted