Clinical placements provide opportunities for student nurses to learn experientially. To create a constructive learning environment staff need to be friendly, approachable, available and willing to teach. There must be adequate opportunities for students to develop confidence and competence in clinical skills with a focus on student learning needs rather than service needs of facilities.Anecdotal evidence from second year nursing students regarding placements was that the preceptor model wasn’t working in acute nursing practice areas. Thus a trial using a cluster model was undertaken. Student and facilitator feedback was very positive regarding the cluster model. The wards utilised were medical/surgical units in both rural base hospitals and large metropolitan hospitals.