Contemporary nurse education places a high value on learning in the clinical environment. Combined with increasing numbers of students there are unprecedented demands on clinical areas and staff. One response to this problem has been the development of the practice placement facilitator (PPF) role. This study aimed to evaluate, over 12 months, the impact of the PPF role on the provision of practice placements, student support during placement and professional development needs of staff as clinical supervisors/assessors. The evaluation focused on three areas: capacity to accommodate students; quality of placements in relation to the role of the PPF; and the evolution of the role of the PPF. Data-collection methods included interviews, focus groups, questionnaires and secondary data analysis. The findings of the study demonstrated that: many different groups of learners are present in clinical environments; students need to have continuity of support; clinical staff derive benefits from an enhanced understanding of the needs of learners through the work of the PPF; and that if the role and function of the PPF post is unclear and/or poorly maintained there will be detrimental effects.