Aim: To test a model of clinical learning that focuses on the role of the ward manager. Background: The ward manager's role in supporting clinical learning indirectly focuses on the ward climate connected to students' clinical placements. In this way, the ward manager influences both nursing care and the pedagogical atmosphere in the ward. Design: Cross-sectional, secondary analysis. Methods: The sample included nursing and midwifery students (N = 5,776, n = 1,900) who had completed their clinical placement. Data were collected with the Clinical Learning Environment, Supervision and Nurse Teacher scale. Structural equation modelling was adopted to test the hypotheses. Results: Estimates of the model parameters demonstrated that a ward manager's leadership style influences both the premises of nursing at the ward (0.84, p <.001) and the pedagogical atmosphere (0.93, p <.001), although the pedagogical atmosphere affects the mentoring relationship (0.87–0.86, p <.001). Conclusions: Ward managers exert a significant influence on the clinical learning environment via their support for an effective pedagogical atmosphere and, consequently, effective mentoring. Implications for Nursing Management: Leadership style guides both the premises of nursing at the ward and pedagogical atmosphere. These findings recommend that ward managers should be involved in promoting a supportive learning climate, which supports the mentor–student relationship and, eventually, leads to effective clinical learning.