This article reports on construct validity and reliability of 30 items of the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI). Australia, like other countries, is experiencing a shortage of nurses; a multifactor approach to retention of nurses is required. One significant factor that has received increasing attention in the last decade, particularly in the USA, is the nursing practice environment. The reliability of the 30 items of the PES-NWI was assessed by Cronbach's alpha and factor analysis was performed using principal component analysis. The PES-NWI was completed by nurses working in the aged-care, private and public sectors in Queensland, Australia. A total of 3000 surveys were distributed to a random sample of members of the Queensland Nurses Union. Of these, 1192 surveys were returned, a response rate of 40%. The PES-NWI was shown to be reliable demonstrating internal consistency with a Cronbach's alpha of the total scale of 0.948. The 30 items loaded onto five factors explaining 57.7% of the variance. The items across the factors differed slightly from those reported by the original author of the PES-NWI. This study indicates that the PES-NWI has construct validity and reliability in the Australian setting for nurses.