Aim.: This paper is a report of a study of undergraduate nursing students' experience of administering medication in the clinical setting. Background.: Safe administration of medication is an important component of skilled nursing practice, and nursing students require personal and supportive supervision from Registered Nurses to enhance learning and promote safety. A review of the literature revealed a lack of research addressing students' experiences in administering medication. Methods.: A grounded theory methodology was used. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 27 undergraduate nursing students in Queensland Australia in 2005. Findings.: Supervision emerged as the central category in this study. Participants acknowledged the need for and importance of supervision according to the following sub-themes: a university requirement; scope of practice; and safety, the five rights. They also described behaviours they adopted to seek supervision, including negotiating, chasing, waiting and avoiding. Conclusion.: Universities and healthcare settings need to collaborate more closely to ensure that adequate supervision is provided to ensure safe practices. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.