Nursing and midwifery are practice professions, and clinical practice learning must be central to their student education (Spence et al., 2012). The nursing profession needs to ensure that student nurses are provided with learning experiences in both academic and practice settings. If learners are to optimise practice learning to help them move beyond application of knowledge gained at university, to using their clinical reasoning skills in the practice setting, then collaborative working between academics and practitioners is essential. This means that academics and clinicians need to find ways of working in partnership so that all parties; learners, clinicians and academics are clear about roles, responsibilities, expectations and what needs to be enabled in practice and in higher education settings (Duffy et al., 2000; Bunce, 2002; Andrews et al., 2006).