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Abstract We explored the influence of nursing dependency over and above sociodemographic factors and medical conditions on the use of home care nursing resources by patients 65 years of age and older. Use measures were number of visits made by home care nurses, and length of nursing stay. Nurses' reports, direct observation of nursing care provided, patient interviews, and record abstraction were used to obtain data on 236 patients who were admitted to and discharged from a certified public home health agency. Nursing dependency explained a significant amount of variance over and above sociodemographic factors and medical conditions in number of visits made by nurses and length of nursing stay. Measures of nursing dependency should be incorporated into future studies that examine factors related to use of home care nursing resources.