When the Danish government converted the national practice-oriented nursing qualification from a vocational course to a bachelor's degree in 2002, the clinical training component was scaled back. Accordingly, mentors needed to optimise students' learning from this curtailed clinical practice. A fuller understanding of how student nurses function and learn during clinical training is vital. This article presents the findings of a qualitative investigation of student nurses' learning processes during their clinical placement in psychiatric nursing practice. An explorative and qualitative descriptive approach was chosen. The theoretical framework includes Jarvis' concept of 'disjuncture', because it offers a theoretical way of understanding the empirical phenomenon of 'non-routine-situations'. Heller's concept of 'everyday life activities' is also drawn on, for its contribution to understanding and analysing the content of student nurses' learning processes. Data was generated from qualitative, semi-structured interviews with, observations of, and obser-views with, eleven students. The obser-view process is my development. It is a common reflection between researcher and research participant which takes place just after the researcher's observation of the participant in interaction with a patient. The role of the researcher is to be a catalyst for the reflection. Using qualitative content analysis, a model of student nurses learning processes, termed the 'Windmill of Learning Processes' was developed as a result. A key finding is that students and mentors are typically unaware of potential learning situations. Crucially, once students are made aware of this fact, their clinical learning can be enhanced. In this regard, the Windmill of Learning Processes is offered as a pedagogical tool for students and mentors.