Aim: The present study reports a descriptive survey of nursing students experience of service improvement learning in the university and practice setting. Background: Opportunities to develop service improvement capabilities were embedded into pre-registration programmes at a university in the Northwest of England to ensure future nurses have key skills for the workplace. Methods: A cross-sectional survey designed to capture key aspects of students experience was completed by nursing students (n = 148) who had undertaken a service improvement project in the practice setting. Results: Work organizations in which a service improvement project was undertaken were receptive to students efforts. Students reported increased confidence to undertake service improvement and service improvement capabilities were perceived to be important to future career development and employment prospects. Conclusion: Service improvement learning in pre-registration education appears to be acceptable, effective and valued by students. Further research to identify the impact upon future professional practice and patient outcomes would enhance understanding of this developing area. Implications for nursing management: Nurse Managers can play an active role in creating a service culture in which innovation and improvement can flourish to enhance patient outcomes, experience and safety.