Many hospitalized patients are malnourished, and the relationship between malnutrition and patient outcome is well established. To determine which patients are at nutritional risks, clinical scores are probably more accurate than using a single nutritional parameter. Among the numerous scores published, both the Prognostic Nutritional Index and the Subjective Global Assessment were prospectively validated. One is based on objective measurements, whereas the second is based on medical history and physical examination. The Nutritional Risk Index has been used in many studies including the "Veterans Study." The Mini Nutritional Assessment is a promising score for evaluating malnutrition in the elderly. The development of nutritional scores for use by nurses may facilitate screening of a large number of hospitalized patients.