Health literacy refers to a patient's knowledge and skill in making informed health care decisions. Low health literacy is associated with poor health outcomes that nurses have the potential to affect. Screening tools are available to assess a patient's health literacy, but not all are easy to use. Recently health literacy experts have recommended that all patients be treated as if they have low health literacy. The authors review the recent definitions and dimensions of health literacy, the prevalence and characteristics of patients with low health literacy, and strategies nurses can use in clinical settings.