Novice researchers’ nightmare journey of paradigms and methodologies: ‘It’s hard to know what is right or wrong’.

  • Andrea Jayne Lacey


This paper provides my narrative of the challenges of journeying through the development of a research design for a study as part of my Doctorate of Professional Practice. The focus for the study was mental health student nurses and their first practice placement and whether these students could be better prepared prior to this first placement. This paper is intentionally written as a personal narrative of my experience into the field of qualitative research and within this account I discuss the uncertain, iterative and, in the end, emancipatory process of selecting the most appropriate ontology, epistemology and methodology to align with the aims and research questions for this study. Throughout the paper and in the spirit of narrative inquiry, I have included student nurses’ quotations from the data in the headings. These quotations seem to reflect the similar journeys on which both the students and I have been.