• research;
  • intellectual development;
  • education;
  • nurses;
  • midwives;
  • ethnography

The way in which student nurses and midwives experience research in practice is described here through accounts from in-depth interviews with 10 student midwives and nine student nurses while they were in the rostered service component of their pre-registration diploma courses. Also reported here is an impressionistic model of their intellectual development in relation to research which has been created inductively from the same data and which offer a new line of inquiry on the research to practice problem. Although this research is primarily concerned with these particular students it is of general interest since there may be a level of intellectual development which is a necessary condition to being able to initiate and use research in practice.