The aim of this paper was to systematically review evidence about nursing and midwifery students’ encounters with poor clinical care. We undertook a systematic review of English language empirical research using multiple databases from inception to April 2016. Hand searching was also undertaken. Included papers contained accounts of empirical research which reported on students’ encounters with poor care. These were quality-assessed, information was extracted into tables, and study results were synthesized using thematic analysis. N = 14 papers met inclusion criteria; study quality was moderate to good. Study synthesis revealed four themes: i) encounters with poor practice: students encounter poor practice that is likely to be worthy of professional sanction; ii) while intention to report is high in hypothetical scenarios, this appears not always to translate to actual practice; iii) a range of influencing factors impact the likelihood of reporting; iv) the consequences of encountering and subsequently reporting poor practice appeared to have a lasting effect on students. Research is required to determine the frequency and nature of students’ encounters with poor care, when and where they encounter it, how to increase the likelihood that they will report it, and how they can be supported in doing so.