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Data acquisition marks the first phase of the problem-solving process Little research exists, however, on data acquisition amongst nurses despite its centrahty in the problem-solving process In part, this is a reflection of the inherent challenges and difficulties posed by this area of research This paper discusses methodological issues raised during a recent study exploring the process of data acquisition amongst student nurses The research forms part of a larger comparative study of the outcomes of preregistration nurse education programmes, funded by the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting