Self-harm in the absence of suicidal intent is an underexplored area in psychiatric nursing research. This article reports on findings of a study undertaken in two acute psychiatric admission units in Ireland. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the practices of psychiatric nurses in relation to people who self-harm but who are not considered suicidal. Semistructured interviews were held with eight psychiatric nurses. Content analysis revealed several themes, some of which will be presented and discussed in this article, namely, the participants' understanding of self-harm, their approach to care, and factors in the acute psychiatric admission setting, which impacted on their care. Recommendations for further research are offered. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved..