Writing successful nursing care plan assignments can be hectic work for nursing students. The student is required to have academic writing skills and research skills in order to ace these nursing care plan assignments.
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What is a nursing care plan?
A nursing care plan (NCP) refers to a formal process that properly identifies existing needs and recognizes potential needs or risks. In other words, a nursing care plan can be referred to as a systematic cycle starting with the identification, preparation, and implementation of the most appropriate recovery plan for a patient.
Thus, when professors ask students to write a nursing care plan assignment, they expect the student to consider a nursing care plan which involves:
- Recognizing the patient’s issues.
- Developing a strategy to resolve primary needs.
- Executing the strategy process by step.
Components of a nursing care plan.
A nursing care plan usually includes:
- Nursing diagnoses.
- Client problems.
- Expected outcomes.
- Nursing interventions and rationales.
- Evaluations – this is where outcomes of the nursing interventions are documented.
Types of nursing care plans.
Nursing care plans can either be formal or informal.
- Informal nursing care plan: this is a strategy of action that exists in a nurse’s mind.
- Formal nursing care plan: this is a written or computerized guide that organizes the client’s care information. Formal care plans is sub-divided into:
- Standardized care plan – this specifies the nursing care plans for groups of clients with daily needs.
- Individualized care plan – this is developed to meet the special needs of a specific patient or need that is not addressed in the standardized care plans.
Steps to developing an effective nursing care plan.
There are 5 easy steps in developing an effective nursing care plan.
These steps include:
- Step 1: Collection and assessment of data.
- Step 2: Data analysis and organization.
- Step 3: developing your nursing diagnosis.
- Step 4: Setting priorities.
- Step 5: create client goals and desired outcomes.
Step 1: Collection and assessment of data.
The first step when performing a nursing care plan is collecting and assessing data. Thus, in order to collect information, you will ask a few essential questions.
The answers you will receive will be used in a template. This is why nurses must understand how to write a nursing care plan template.
The basic questions within the assessment area of the template include:
- Why is the patient at this facility?
- What prompted them to seek medical attention?
- How would you describe the patient’s overall physical appearance?
Step 2: Data analysis and organization.
After you have gathered data about the patient’s health, analyze, cluster, and organize the data to develop your nursing diagnosis, priorities, and desired outcomes.
Step 3: developing your nursing diagnosis.
The diagnosis section of the nursing school care plan emphasizes the “What” of the patient’s illness. During this step, you are attempting to provide a solution to the following question: What ailment does the patient have? Thus, nurses can better identify the type of care the patient will receive from reviewing the information collected in this section.
In short, the diagnostic section of a nursing care plan summarizes the medical conditions and health issues affecting the patient’s wellbeing.
Step 4: Setting priorities.
After finishing doing a diagnosis on the patient, the next step involves the nurse and the client planning which nursing diagnosis requires attention first (setting priorities).
Setting priorities is a process of creating a preferential sequence for addressing nursing diagnoses and interventions. During this phase, nursing diagnoses can be graded and grouped as having a high, medium, or low priority. Life-threatening difficulties should be given high priority.
Step 5: create client goals and desired outcomes.
After setting priorities, the nurse and patient set goals for each determined priority. These desired outcomes define what the nurse hopes to attain by executing the nursing interventions derived from the client’s nursing diagnoses.
Avoid common mistakes nursing students make when writing nursing care plan assignments.
Nursing students are sometimes unaware of the proper layouts, materials, analysis methods, etc to be incorporated when writing nursing care plan assignments. Some of these common mistakes can be avoided by:
- Accessing research papers from google scholar about nursing care.
- Adding significant keywords and sentences when identifying the analysis articles.
- Utilizing significant blogs and internet outlets when obtaining information.
Importance of a nursing care plan.
Nursing care plans help to:
- Enhance the quality of health care delivered to patients.
- Make the more organized by defining the roles and responsibilities of nurses.
- Provide consistency of care.
- Promote holistic treatment of patients and understand what each patient requires.