The Importance of Nursing Care Plan

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Nursing care plan offers guidance to nurses on the care that should be given to the patient. It can be a documentation of the process which is required by the nurse in resolving a diagnosis identified after a comprehensive assessment. Its purpose is to communicate and organize actions of the nurse in changing nursing staff.

Nursing process

Nursing process involves six elements which are assessment, diagnosis, outcome identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Assessment involves data collection of the patient or individual the nurse is dealing with. It can be collected using examination or observing the patients’ behavior. The other step is the diagnosis, where the information collected, is used to identify the problem the patient is suffering from. Diagnosis allows improvement of the outcome using several nursing interventions (Urden, 2015). Planning enables the nurse to prioritize on which diagnosis to focus on depending on the outcome and contribution of the patient. Implementation plan is when the action decided by the nurse regarding the diagnosis is carried out. What follows is monitoring of the patient progress by evaluating the outcome of the treatment given. All the elements are essential as part of the nursing care plan.

Metaparadigm concepts

Metaparadigm concepts guided in the way that they explain the central issues affecting nursing discipline. Defining these concepts explain what the working environment of nurses and their interactions.

SMART Criteria

SMART criteria assisted in developing expected outcomes of the nursing care plan process where the objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. The patient outcome should also be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (Townsend & Morgan, 2017).

When developing the nursing care plan for the first time, I was unable to develop SMART goals of treatment. I also did not follow the six steps in the nursing process, and this challenged my nursing care. I only managed to assess the patient well and made the right diagnosis.


Nursing care plan is important as it makes nurses communication effective and includes a plan of patient care. A nursing care plan should include all the six steps for comprehensive care. The objectives of a nursing care process should follow the SMART criteria to enhance patient outcome.


Townsend, M. C., & Morgan, K. I. (2017). Psychiatric mental health nursing: Concepts of care in evidence-based practice. FA Davis.

Urden, L. D., Stacy, K. M., & Lough, M. E. (2015). Priorities in critical care nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.

October 13, 2023

Health Life Profession


Nursing Work

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