The purpose of this research was to clarify the concept of diarrhea in enterally-fed patients. Presently, the concept of diarrhea in enteral patients remains an ambiguous nursing concept; to most nurses, diarrhea is diarrhea is diarrhea. No clinically-useful criteria are available for nurses to assess and diagnose diarrhea in enteral patients. The development of criteria to define diarrhea will facilitate communication and precision of the nursing diagnosis. The stool parameters that were examined in this study included: stool weight, color, odor, consistency, and frequency. The major findings of the study were: (a) Stool descriptors for amount, consistency, and odor vary dramatically from nurse to nurse, and even with the same nurse. (b) Stool descriptors for amount, consistency, color, and odor are not consistently recorded on all stool samples unless specifically requested. (c) A variety of word labels is utilized by nurses in the clinical setting to describe stool samples.