Background Observation is mentioned in most ethnographic textbooks, but specific details about how it should be conducted and the practicalities to be considered in ethnographic nursing research are not always explicit. This paper explores the experiences of and challenges faced by a novice nurse researcher who used observation to collect data. Aim To provide a novice researcher's perspective of observation in ethnographic nursing research and to highlight the associated challenges. Discussion Challenges that arose in observation began with determining which perspective to take, followed by rehearsing observation, developing and maintaining a constructive relationship with the observation site, being aware of the influence of the observer, managing interactions between the observed and the observer, and responding to ethical issues. Conclusion Novice nurse researchers considering using observation to collect data should be aware of the potential challenges they might encounter. Implications for practice The information presented in this paper will enable novice researchers to anticipate these issues and develop strategies to prevent or address them.
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- nursing research
- novice researcher
- Nursing research
- Novice researcher