The term `loss' is used frequently in the nursing literature and by nurses in the clinical setting. However, loss as a concept has not been defined comprehensively. In this paper, an attempt will be made to analyse the concept, The paper will begin with an overview of approaches to concept analysis. Subsequent sections include a literature review examining current and classic usage of the concept, General and specific definitions of loss provide a template for discussion. The paper will conclude with the identification of critical attributes for the concept which will form the basis for an exploration of explicit empirical referents.