Background: The setting (in-situ or off-site) in neonatal simulation-based education and its effect on perceptions and learning experiences of neonatal nurses. Methods: Single focus group interview lead by two interviewers. Seven participants (all neonatal nurses). Hand-held recording device (audio only). Interview transcript analysed using thematic analysis by three researchers. Results: No consensus among nursing staff regarding preference for simulation setting. In-situ simulation was more difficult to engage with due to preoccupation with ward patients and reduced staff numbers, however was more realistic, which directly influenced the experience of the simulation. Off-site simulation provided separation from the ward and greater engagement with simulation. Debriefing was key to both types of simulation and important in the learning experience of participants. Conclusion: Overall, simulation-based education was well accepted by most participants. In-situ simulation provided the most realistic simulation environment. Issues regarding participant distraction and concerns about short staffing need to be addressed.