Over the last few years, Australian interest in the part time employment status of nursing students has increased. International models of paid employment, that target undergraduate students to work in a specific student nurse capacity, have attracted interest. The aim of this action research study was to consider nursing student employment models and develop recommendations that could be used to guide future policy and planning. An expert group was convened and used the cyclic process of planning, action, observation, evaluation and reflection to explore the issue. Through the process, the benefits and pitfalls of innovative, employment models were explored and resulted in consideration of whether there is potential for these models to provide a small push of the pendulum to a point where theory and practice are more closely aligned.