In this article, we describe how the functionalist and interactionist approaches to socialization are exemplified in the learning experiences of nursing students in a 4-year baccalaureate program. A qualitative longitudinal exploratory research design was used to study the socialization of baccalaureate nursing students in a large western Canadian university. The findings suggest that student learning reflects a combination of functionalist and interactionist approaches, with the relative emphasis of each approach varying over the 4 years. In the first year, functionalist learning predominates as students learn the "ideal." In second and third year, students are confronting and adapting to reality, which requires a more interactionist approach. Fourth year students look beyond their practice situation as they anticipate and prepare for a reality beyond the student world. This article concludes with implications for nursing education.