BACKGROUND Caring traditionally has been at the center of nursing. Effectively measuring the process of nurse caring is vital in nursing research. A short, less burdensome dimensional instrument for patients' use is needed for this purpose. OBJECTIVES To derive and validate a shorter Caring Behaviors Inventory (CBI) within the context of the 42-item CBI. METHODS The responses to the 42-item CBI from 362 hospitalized patients were used to develop a short form using factor analysis. A test-retest reliability study was conducted by administering the shortened CBI to new samples of patients (n = 64) and nurses (n = 42). RESULTS Factor analysis yielded a 24-item short form (CBI-24) that (a) covers the four major dimensions assessed by the 42-item CBI, (b) has internal consistency (alpha =.96) and convergent validity (r =.62) similar to the 42-item CBI, (c) reproduces at least 97% of the variance of the 42 items in patients and nurses, (d) provides statistical conclusions similar to the 42-item CBI on scoring for caring behaviors by patients and nurses, (e) has similar sensitivity in detecting between-patient difference in perceptions, (f) obtains good test-retest reliability (r = .88 for patients and r=.82 for nurses), and (g) confirms high internal consistency (alpha >.95) as a stand-alone instrument administered to the new samples. CONCLUSION CBI-24 appears to be equivalent to the 42-item CBI in psychometric properties, validity, reliability, and scoring for caring behaviors among patients and nurses. These results recommend the use of CBI-24 to reduce response burden and research costs.