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The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of staff nurses towards associate degree (AD) nursing students. The null hypothesis stated there will be no significant difference in the attitudes of staff nurses towards AD nursing students and associated concepts (nursing education, patient, physician, work, nurse.) The staff nurse's value as a role model is held in high regard yet little regard is given to her attitudes towards students. Through better understanding of staff nurses' attitudes, nurse educators can better plan, develop and coordinate clinical activities to provide an optimum learning environment. The findings showed the concept AD nursing student was significantly different from the rest, indicating a less positive attitude towards the AD nursing student than the related concepts. Implications for nursing practice are threefold. Nurse administrators must create an atmosphere and a philosophy which support the educational process within their institution, and recognize nurses' attitudes towards students. Practising nurses should examine their attitudes and willingness to work with students if their hospital offers their agency as a clinical facility. Educators must look closely at the units they assign students to, continually maintaining the lines of communication between staff nurses and clinical instructors. As service and education work together a quality environment can be provided in which there is optimum learning for the student. Both groups then contribute to the future of professional nursing.