Objective: to identify the meanings learning in nursing students. Methods: this is a descriptive qualitative study, in a Private University Center, located in Rio de Janeiro city. The subjects were 38 students of the first period of the nursing course. Data collection occurred in January 2009 with the implementation of a questionnaire. Data were described in thematic units. Results: the results were analyzed and presented in five thematic units: the scenario of learning as an area of articulation between theory and practice, the scenario of learning as an area of expansion of knowledge, the scenario of learning as a space for reflection, the scene of learning as swap space - interaction. Conclusion: all units are strongly interlinked themes in learning, in a fair part of the training.