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The integration of nursing education and nursing practice is a problem of both the British system and the North American system. Liaison between educators and service staff is often difficult. Between December 1977 and December 1978 informal observations were made at a London teaching hospital and three Scottish colleges of nursing, to determine how much liaison actually occurs between education and service. Some organizational literature gives pointers to ways education and service may be integrated. The British and North American systems are contrasted to highlight some of the differences and similarities of the systems. The integration of theory and practice is perceived as a cycle, effective nursing care leading to good learning experiences, and effective education leading to effective nursing care. The paper indicates areas for further study and approaches to solving the problems.