Nursing students are increasingly undertaking paid work while studying and most choose paid work in health care or hospitality. This paper is drawn from a larger sequential exploratory mixed-method study which examined the relationship between students working while studying nursing and the impact on academic performance. In this paper, we explored first year nursing students��� perceptions of communication skills gained through paid work. Using a qualitative exploratory design, 50 first year commencing nursing students from four nursing schools (3 Australia; 1 New Zealand) were interviewed. Inductive thematic analysis was used which identified two themes: (i) recognising the value of learning interpersonal communication skills and; (ii)opportunities to develop effective interpersonal communication skills. Paid work provides interpersonal communication skills; active listening, being present and interacting while multi-tasking and emotion management. Undergraduate education providers need to recognise the benefits of paid work for students, including enhancing interpersonal skills.