This paper reports the findings of a phenomenographic study which sought to identify the different ways in which patient digital stories influence students' professional learning. Patient digital stories are short multimedia presentations that combine personal narratives, images and music to create a unique and often emotional story of a patients' experience of health care. While these are increasingly used in professional education little is known about how and what students learn through engagement with patient digital stories. Drawing upon interviews with 20 students within a pre-registration nursing programme in the UK, the study identifies four qualitatively different ways in which students approach and make sense of patient digital stories with implications for learning and professional identity development. Through an identification of the critical aspects of this variation valuable insights are generated into the pedagogic principles likely to engender transformational learning and patient centred practice.