In Australia, nurse education was transferred from hospital based nursing schools to the higher education sector. This transfer resulted in a change for students, from hospital employee to an unpaid, supernumerary role during professional placements. The majority of undergraduate nursing students now combine part time employment with their studies, working mainly within health settings or service sectors such as hospitality and retail. The aims of this study were to identify if newly qualified registered nurses engaged in paid employment during their final year of undergraduate studies, the types of employment they chose, reasons for that choice, skills acquired and their views on any link between employment choice and transition to practice. Focus group interviews involving sixty seven new graduates were conducted. From the data, four organising themes were identified; financial independence and autonomy, confidence and experience, future opportunity and ease of transition. The global theme maximising opportunity describes nurse's views about their decisions on student employment. Participants had differing views on employment choice and transition to practice. Further research is needed in the area to identify whether there is any link between student employment choice and transition to practice.