The aim of this study was to explore the impact organisational cultures have on the learning experience of student nurses and identify the influencing factors. A case study approach was used. An in depth three dimensional picture was achieved using multiple data collection methods: interview, survey, observation and document analysis. The findings suggest that the DSHCS is perceived to be a sub-culture within a dominant civilian learning culture. Generally, the students and staff believed that the DSHCS is an excellent learning environment and that the defence students overall are high achievers. The common themes that appeared from the data were image, ethos, environment, discipline, support, welfare and a civilian versus military way of thinking. The learning experience of defence student nurses is very positive and enhanced by the positive learning culture of the civilian Higher Educational Institution. The factors influencing a positive learning experience that can be impacted by the overarching culture are discipline, image, ethos of adult learning, support and welfare.