Nurse researchers are increasingly adopting qualitative methodologies for research practice and theory development. These approaches to research are, in many cases, more appropriate for the field of nursing inquiry than the previously dominant techno-rational methods. However, there remains the issue of adapting methodologies developed in other academic disciplines to the nursing research context. This paper draws upon my own experience with interpretive research to raise questions about the issue of nursing research within a social science research framework. The paper argues that by integrating the characteristics of nursing practice with the characteristics of research practice, the researcher can develop a 'nursing lens', an approach to qualitative research that brings an added dimension to social science methodologies in the nursing research context. Attention is drawn to the unique nature of the nurse-patient relationship, and the ways in which this aspect of nursing practice can enhance nursing research. Examples are given from interview transcripts to support this position.