To prepare the student of nursing to meet the demands of caring for the individual or a community within a dynamic and multi-cultural society, it is important that the nurse and the client see the healing process as being a co-operative venture. This co-operation relies on the growth of trust and confidence between interlocutors. Underpinning this is not only a sound clinical knowledge base but a sophisticated communication process at which indiciduals must be competent. The author argues that this competence is not automatic; it must be worked at and developed if the nurse is to be truly committed to the healing process. It is the responsibility of nurse educators to facilitate the growth and development of this competence in the students of today, if they are to be the nurses of tomorrow meeting new challenges. This paper examines some of the issues involved.