Aim: This discussion paper poses the question ‘What enables or deters Registered Nurses to take up their professional responsibility to support undergraduate nursing students through the provision of clinical education?’. Background: Embedded within many nursing standards are expectations that Registered Nurses provide support and professional development to undergraduate nursing students undertaking clinical placements. Expectations within nursing standards that Registered Nurses provide support and professional development to nursing students are important because nursing students depend on Registered Nurses to help them to become competent practitioners. Results: Contributing factors that enable and deter Registered Nurses from fulfilling this expectation to support nursing students in their clinical learning include; workloads, preparedness for the teaching role, confidence in teaching and awareness of the competency requirement to support students. Conclusion: Factors exist which can enable or deter Registered Nurses from carrying out the licence requirement to provide clinical education and support to nursing students.