Patient satisfaction with care has frequently been used as a measurement of quality, especially in attempts to demonstrate the benefits of changes in nursing practice. Unfortunately such attempts have frequently failed as patient satisfaction ratings have lacked sensitivity, consistently achieving very high scores. They have also failed to isolate the nursing component from the whole health care experience. The Newcastle Satisfaction with Nursing Scale (NSNS) has been developed after extensive research work as an attempt to establish reliable and valid measures of patients' experiences of and satisfaction with nursing care. This study evaluated the use of the NSNS in practice and found that it was readily understood by patients and easily administered by clinical staff. However, several lessons were learnt which could help its administration. The results demonstrated a very high degree of satisfaction with nursing care which left the discriminatory ability of the scale open to question, although its potential benefits in standard setting were demonstrated. Further evaluative studies are needed if the potential benefits of the NSNS are to be fully realised.