Ha! Ha! I had to chuckle when I read your question!
Of course I would prefer a short care plan! However, there are often times that the situation at hand requires something longer, particularly if the patient has some complex problems going on.
As a student you are pretty much forced to do the longer ones. It really is done in your best interests. It not only helps you in learning to think critically, but it is also a way to learn about all kinds of medical conditions and their treatment while merging in the nursing care. The fact is, however, that on the job, there really isn't the time to put in to long, extensive care plans
. Not unless you work on them at home. And, the first thing to go off the care plans are the rationales for the nursing interventions. That's a school requirement to help you with your critical thinking. A lot of times the AEB items make an exit as well. Many places have pre-printed care plans for the most common patient problems. You just grab one and start checking off stuff that pertains to the patient. I think, however, that some of the accrediting organizations aren't real happy with these in all cases. What happens, though, is that if you don't shy away from care plan writing like so many licensed nurses do writing them gets pretty routine after awhile. Your mind tends to think faster than your pen or pencil can write the items down on the care plan form! If you work on the same unit, the same problems tend to crop up all the time. You start searching for little things to make each care plan individualized. This comes from knowing and interacting with the patient.
Here's the thing. Working with the nursing diagnoses and writing nursing interventions is a nursing skill. Unlike a hands-on skill, this one requires some thinking instead. Like any skill, the more you practice it, the better you get at it. With care plans you have a bunch of nursing diagnoses that you have to basically memorize and learn about. Each diagnosis has signs and symptoms and well as treatment (nursing interventions) in very much the same way as doctors deal with medical diagnoses. The more you work with each of them, the better you will get at using them. Occasionally a nursing diagnosis you've never worked with before will come up and your wheels grind to a halt as you struggle with it. This is all part of the learning curve. Don't be discouraged. It does get easier with time and practice. Keep on working at them. The payoff will be that your critical thinking skills will be sharpened. You need that for tests. You'll also be learning more about nursing in the process.