Aims: This paper summarises phenomenology and discusses how nurses can use their own experiences as data and maintain rigour within the method. It explores how data from researchers experiencing the phenomenon of interest could be used to explicate assumptions and pre-understandings and may also be used as data. Background: Whilst the ethnographic concept of insider research has gained popularity, the notion of researcher as participant in phenomenology is relatively new. The lived experience of a phenomenon is unique to each person and utilisation of the nurse researcher's experiences of the phenomenon should be considered for inclusion as data. Design: Discussion paper. Data sources: Articles from 2001-2015 in the CINAHL and PubMed databases were identified using keywords such as ‘insider research’, ‘phenomenology’, ‘bracketing’ and ‘qualitative research’. Additionally, reference lists from articles used were examined to identify additional literature. Implications for Nursing Phenomenology is a valuable research method. Usability, credibility, trustworthiness and auditability of data collected must be considered to ensure rigour and maintain orientation to the phenomenon under investigation. Nurse researchers may be interviewed as participants if these four principles are considered and methods used are made explicit. Utilising appropriate research methods is as important as getting clinical practice correct to advance knowledge and benefit those under our care. Conclusion: We recommend using the researchers’ experience as a data source to gain a complete picture of the phenomenon under investigation. Using the approach proposed here, nurses can ensure they are incorporating all data sources available while maintaining research rigour.
Journal of Advanced Nursing / Vol. 73, No. 3, pp.574-584