This paper is concerned with the factors which can lead to the labelling of students in nursing It commences with some of the considerations involved when one elects to enter a profession This is examined in the light of changing ideologies about the ways in which it is believed that nurses should be taught and whether teaching aims to train or educate nurses This analysis is applied to the issues that arise in terms of labelling students, and the possible subsequent effects on the students’ capacity to succeed The continuing dissonance inside the educational environment and between education and clinical practice are proposed as contributory factors in the processes that can lead to student frustration and disenchantment Finally, some suggestions are made to attempt to address these issues