Patient and public involvement (PPI) is held as best practice in health and social care research. This is based on the premise that public insights will enable researchers to understand more diverse experiences and so help ensure the research is appropriate for practice (Dudley et al., 2015). In this Perspectives piece, we explore inherent tensions that may arise when nurses take part in public involvement activities which relate to their professional roles. The accounts described here are drawn from the experiences of two care-home nurses who took part in a public involvement advisory group within a research study exploring the mental wellbeing and resilience of care-home nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic (the ‘THRIVE’ study1). Nurses’ reflective accounts are supported by the researchers’ theoretical reasoning for involving care-home nurses in PPI activity. First, we explain the nature of PPI in the THRIVE study, then the nurses provide first-person accounts of their experiences before we draw general conclusions that may be applicable to all nurses considering PPI roles in research.