The delivery of health-care services in Australia is undergoing many changes. The move towards home-based acute care has precipitated a review of many nursing care practices. An important consequence of these changes is the need for registered nurses to be adequately equipped to conduct systematic health assessments. This descriptive study used a questionnaire designed to elicit short-answer responses in order to investigate how registered nurses described their health assessment practices and what type of data they collected. The findings indicate that respondents possess divergent conceptualisations of health assessment, and that they predominately use health assessment data to support medical therapies. Discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for nursing practice.