This paper address issues around the conduct of Bachelor of Nursing Honours programmes in practice. A review of the Tasmanian School of Nursing Honours programme is provided as a background to exploring the experiences of students as both clinicians and researchers. A content analysis of student essays, reflecting their engagement with practice during their coursework, was undertaken. This analysis reveals their struggle to establish a legitimate space as Honours students within the culture of the acute hospital ward. The students’ experience highlights ward nurses’ unfamiliarity with research and the difficulties of establishing new and innovative programmes such as Honours in practice contexts. Implications for the conduct of similar programmes and other research-related endeavours are discussed.