In a descriptive study, freestanding rehabilitation hospitals were surveyed to determine which acuity systems were in use in 1988. A questionnaire was developed by the researcher and sent to 83 freestanding rehabilitation hospitals in the continental United States. The results of the study showed that no one acuity system was being used. Additional findings were that the majority of the rehabilitation hospitals are not for profit, all of the hospitals have some type of accreditation, and there seem to be enough rehabilitation beds in the United States. Staffing patterns of the hospitals revealed that registered nurses and nursing assistants were the type of staff used predominantly; licensed practical nurses were used least. Ninety-one percent of the hospitals reported having registered nurses with associate's degrees or bachelor of science degrees, and 88% reported having nurses who had earned a diploma. Primary nursing care was the type of nursing care delivered most often, although many of the hospitals were using more than one form of care. Staff assignment was based on both census and acuity.