BACKGROUND: Indirect blood pressure measurement is the assessment tool used most frequently in epidemiological studies and hypertension management in the population at large. OBJECTIVE: To review indirect blood pressure measurement within the context of nursing practice. RESULTS: Nurses are not following recommended American Heart Association measurement guidelines. CONCLUSION: A national program of certification in indirect blood pressure measurement, similar to that of basic and advanced cardiac life support, is needed. An initial approach to evaluating present practice is also suggested.