Nursing Process

11/26/12 kwb: NP overview – Transfer students
The Nursing Process
The common thread uniting different types of nurses who work in varied areas is the nursing process—the essential core
of practice for the registered nurse to deliver holistic, patient-focused care. One definition of the nursing process…”an
assertive, problem solving approach to the identification and treatment of patient problems. It provides an organizing
framework for the practice of nursing and the knowledge, judgments, and actions that nurses bring to patient care.”
An RN uses a systematic, dynamic, rather than static way to collect and analyze data about a client, the first step in
delivering nursing care. Assessment includes not only physiological data, but also psychological, sociocultural, spiritual,
economic, and life-style factors as well. For example, a nurse’s assessment of a hospitalized patient in pain includes not
only the physical causes and manifestations of pain, but the patient’s response—an inability to get out of bed, refusal to
eat, withdrawal from family members, anger directed at hospital staff, fear, or request for more pain medication.
The nursing diagnosis is the nurse’s clinical judgment about the client’s response to actual or potential health conditions
or needs. The diagnosis reflects not only that the patient is in pain, but that the pain has caused other problems such as
anxiety, poor nutrition, and conflict within the family, or has the potential to cause complications—for example; respiratory
infection is a potential hazard to an immobilized patient. The diagnosis is the basis for the nurse’s care plan.
Planning / Goal / Outcome
Based on the assessment and diagnosis, the nurse sets measurable and achievable short- and long-range goals for this
patient that might include moving from bed to chair at least three times per day; maintaining adequate nutrition by eating
smaller, more frequent meals; resolving conflict through counseling, or managing pain through adequate medication.
Assessment data, diagnosis, and goals are written in the patient’s care plan so that nurses as well as other health
professionals caring for the patient have access to it.
Nursing care is implemented according to the care plan, so continuity of care for the patient during hospitalization and in
preparation for discharge needs to be assured. Care is documented in the patient’s record.
Both the patient’s status and the effectiveness of the nursing care must be continuously evaluated, and the care plan
modified as needed.

11/26/12 kwb: NP overview – Transfer students

Component and
Purpose Activities
Collecting, organizing,
validating, and documenting
client data.
To establish a
database about the
client’s response to
health concerns or
illness and the ability
to manage health
care needs
Establish a database:
Subjective data (not measurable)
Objective data (measurable)
 Obtain a nursing health history
 Review client records
 Review nursing literature
 Consult support persons
 Consult health professionals
Update data as needed
Organize data
Validate data
Communicate/document data
Cluster, Analyze and
synthesize data.
Problem identification
Nursing diagnosis label
To identify client
strengths and health
problems that can be
prevented or resolved
by collaborative and
independent nursing
To develop a list of
nursing diagnoses
and collaborative
Interpret and analyze data:
 Compare data against standards
 Cluster or group data (generate tentative
 Identify gaps and inconsistencies
Determine client’s strengths, risks, and problems
Formulate nursing diagnoses and collaborative
problem statements
Actual Nursing Diagnosis (3-part)
PES = Problem related to the Etiology (cause) as
evidenced/manifested by the
Signs and Symptoms
(defining characteristics).
Potential Nursing Diagnosis/Risk (2-part)
PE = Potential problem related to the Etiology
(cause). There are no signs and symptoms,
because the problem has not occurred yet.

11/26/12 kwb: NP overview – Transfer students

Determining how to prevent,
reduce, or resolve the
identified client problems; how
to support client strengths;
and how to implement nursing
interventions in an organized,
individualized, and goal
directed manner
To develop and
individualized care
plan that specifies
client goals/desired
outcomes and related
nursing interventions.
Outcome statement
must be patient
centered, specific,
and measurable.
Set priorities and write goals/outcomes in collaboration
with client. Consult with other health professionals
Write nursing orders and nursing care plan
Communicate care plan to relevant healthcare providers
Short term and long term goals
Carrying out the planned
nursing interventions
To assist the client to
meet desired
promote wellness and
disease; restore
health; and facilitate
coping with altered
Select nursing strategies/interventions
Determine need for nursing assistance
Perform or delegate planned nursing interventions
Communicate what nursing actions were
 Document care and client responses to care
 Give verbal reports as necessary
 Carry out the plan; “DO” what it takes to meet
 Nurse initiated – Physician initiated –
Measuring the degree to
which goals/outcomes have
been achieved and identifying
factors that positively or
negatively influence goal
To determine whether
to continue, modify, or
terminate the plan of
Collaborate with client and relate nursing actions to
client outcomes
Determine if goals/outcomes have been
met/achieved. If not, re-evaluate:
Data – did you collect enough/correct data?
Diagnosis – did you analyze the data
Etiology – is it accurate?
Outcome – patient centered, measurable and
Interventions – realistic and doable?
Revise/modify the care plan as indicated.