Nosocomial bloodstream infections are important causes of morbidity and mortality. In this study, concurrent surveillance for nosocomial bloodstream infections at 49 hospitals over a 3-year period detected >10,000 infections. Gram-positive organisms accounted for 64% of cases, gram-negative organisms accounted for 27%, and 8% were caused by fungi. The most common organisms were coagulase-negative staphylococci (32%), Staphylococcus aureus (16%), and enterococci (11%). Enterobacter, Serratia, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and Candida were more likely to cause infections in patients in critical care units. In patients with neutropenia, viridans streptococci were significantly more common. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were the most common pathogens on all clinical services except obstetrics, where Escherichia coli was most common. Methicillin resistance was detected in 29% of S. aureus isolates and 80% of coagulase-negative staphylococci. Vancomycin resistance in enterococci was species-dependent--3% of Enterococcus faecalis strains and 50% of Enterococcus faecium isolates displayed resistance. These data may allow clinicians to better target empirical therapy for hospital-acquired cases of bacteremia.