The dispute surrounding the existence or not of a gap between the theory and practice of nursing is one that has occupied and at times polarised the profession for decades. The authors of this article, one from England and the other from New Zealand, met during a break between sessions at a research conference held in Surfers Paradise Australia. Karen Ousey is convinced of the existence of a gap and Peter Gallagher resolute that the notion of a gap is axiomatic and ultimately a false dichotomy. As the authors live in the Southern and Northern hemispheres the debate was eventually conducted via email. What follows is the content of that debate.