Research on nurses' responses to suicidal patients is sparse. The purpose of this secondary analysis of qualitative data from interviews with 19 nurses employed in Norway was to describe nurses' responses to suicidal psychiatric inpatients. Thematic analyses revealed four themes: 'struggling with discernment of self and sufferer'; 'reconciling inner dialogue'; 'opening up while envisioning self from sufferer'; and 'revisioning the meaning of life revealed over time'. The main theme was 'struggling with self and sufferer'. While these findings reveal existential issues and self reflections of psychiatric nurses' struggle with the suffering of suicidal patients, they also contribute to a methodological debate. Further research is needed to examine nurses' responses to suicidal patients in various settings and to develop secondary analysis of qualitative data.