The role of the lecturer in the clinical area is the subject of much debate within nurse education. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of the lecturer within the preceptor model of clinical teaching in the clinical area within one school of nursing. The question that guided the study was: how do lecturers perceive their role working in the clinical area within the preceptor model of clinical teaching? The study utilised an exploratory/descriptive qualitative approach and twelve lecturers took part in the study. Data was collected through two rounds of focus group interviews and the data was analysed using the constant comparative method associated with a grounded theory approach. Five themes emerged from the data. Four of these themes identified lecturer responsibilities in relation to the lecturer role. The most dominant of these themes was evaluating students and the other three themes were teaching students, working with preceptors and creating a positive learning environment. A fifth theme also emerged from the data and this was central to the other four themes. This theme was named being negotiable and referred to an attitudinal stance or way of being that the lecturers adopted in order to function within the clinical setting. The findings of the study identify that the lecturers role is complex and contextually bound by school determinants. Implications for the school involved in the study and also for wider nursing education are discussed.