An international shift towards strengthening primary care services has stimulated the growth of nursing in general (family) practice. As learning in the clinical setting comprises a core component of pre-registration nursing education, it is logical that clinical placement opportunities would follow the workforce growth in this setting. Beyond simply offering placements in relevant clinical areas, it is vital to ensure high quality learning experiences that meet the educational needs of pre-registration nurses. Part 1 of a two part series reports on the qualitative study of a mixed methods project. Fifteen pre-registration nursing students participated in semi-structured interviews following a clinical placement in an Australian general practice. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and underwent a process of thematic analysis. Findings are presented in the following four themes; (1) Knowledge of the practice nurse role: I had very limited understanding, (2) Quality of the learning experience: It was a fantastic placement, (3) Support, belonging and mutual respect: I really felt part of the team, (4) Employment prospects: I would really, really love to go to a general practice but…… General practice placements exposed students to a diverse range of clinical skills which would equip them for future employment in primary care. Exposure to nursing in general practice also stimulated students to consider a future career in this clinical setting.