This paper reports on a multi-professional research study, which aimed to explore mentee and mentor perceptions of the mentorship role within nursing, midwifery and medicine. The specific focus of the study was on the conceptualisation of mentoring within the health setting, the factors that influence the mentor–mentee relationship in a positive/negative way, what the professional and personal needs of the mentees are and what are the training and development needs of mentors. This paper will focus on the nursing responses from both questionnaire and interview data highlighted by the responses from the other healthcare professions. The changing nature of the role may be preventing mentors from providing adequate support to students, this is especially relevant in view of the recent concentration on failing students and ensuring trainees are fit for practice at the point of registration. Additionally data suggests that nurse mentors are struggling to fulfil the role with minimal formal support from their work environment, in contrast to other professions.