This qualitative descriptive study explored the assumptions, anticipations and realizations of fourth year undergraduate nursing students regarding aging, gerontological nursing and LTC, as they engaged in critical reflection during their LTC placement. The use of skilled facilitation in guiding the critical reflection activities was theoretically underpinned by critical creativity (McCormack & Titchen, 2006). The key findings indicated that the nursing student understanding during their placement experience could be described by their experiences of relationships, contextual factors and feelings. These findings may inform researchers, educators and policy-makers in enhancing the nursing student experience in the LTC setting. Furthermore, the application of critical creativity (McCormack & Titchen, 2006) may be utilized in various contexts.