Background: Over the last decade several innovative approaches to enhance students' transition to graduate nurse year have been implemented or piloted. This paper describes a study that investigated how the social practices of clinical partnership placement model underpin workplace learning for undergraduate students as they transitioned to graduate. Methods: A mixed method approach was utilised comprising individual interviews with students, observation of clinical workplaces across six different areas of nursing practice, student surveys of the clinical learning environment and participant workshops. Results: Three themes were identified that influenced participants' preparedness for work and enhanced the transition into the workplace: 'organisational familiarity', 'continuity' and 'social participation'. Conclusion: A clinical partnership model offers a degree of work readiness for novices when commencing their professional practice role. It enables individuals to participate and engage in workplace activities which are a central component of their learning.