When phenomenology is adopted as a framework for conducting nursing research, confusions sometimes arise because the researchers do not clarify their understanding of phenomenology. One of the biggest confusions is whether to follow philosophical phenomenological guidelines or scientific guidelines. While phenomenology began as a philosophy, it is argued here that the guidelines of scientific practice should be followed when conducting caring research. This article sharpens the distinction between philosophical and scientific phenomenology and demonstrates the confusion that can ensue when philosophical phenomenology is uncritically used as the model for scientific research. It does so by examining the work of Crotty.