first off, thank you for giving me my laugh of the morning!
secondly, i know you meant your post in a serious way. i've never heard of a "nursing diagnosis for dummies", but it sure would be a best seller, i bet. i try to answer questions about care plans in a language that is different from what the care plan books use. i have four care plan books here at home that i use for reference in answering questions and i am sometimes confused by what is written in the early pages with regard to the nursing process. i can only tell you that the more you read and work with this stuff, the more clearer it becomes.
i use two types of care plan books: books that list the nursing diagnoses and books that actually have care plans worked out. one is the ackley and ladwig nursing diagnosis handbook: a guide to planning care
, 7th edition. it lists all the 172 nanda nursing diagnoses. i believe this book to be superior. each diagnosis includes the nanda definition of the nursing diagnosis, a listing of the defining characteristics, a listing of the related factors, suggestions for noc outcomes, listings of nic interventions with rationales for most and research included if there is any, home care interventions, client/family teaching and often a link to a listing of references for the research that is quoted in the rationales. they also make a distinction between independent nursing interventions and those that are collaborative nursing interventions. i also have three other care plan books that have care plans by medical diagnoses that include nursing diagnosis: application to clinical practice
by lynda juall carpenito-moyet, nursing care plans: guidelines for individualizing client care across the life span
by doenges, moorhouse and murr and maternal/newborn plans of care: guidelines for individualizing care
, 3rd edition by doenges and moorhouse. i also have recently been posting links to the nursing diagnosis pages of the gulanick and ackley/ladwin online care plan constructors. it's very easy to make a list of links to the nursing diagnoses in these constructors that you can link to quickly once you have their web addres and you understand how the webpages are filed. they can be accessed here:
one other reference i use is a little paperback book from nanda called nursing diagnoses: definitions & classification 2005-2006
which is the official list of 172 nursing diagnoses with definitions, defining characteristics and related factors. all this information is repeated in the ackley and ladwig book. now, you have a list of all the references i use. the care plan books by doenges, particularly the maternal/newborn plans of care, do not follow the current nanda languages because it is an older book.
i think that the best advice i can give you, is to continue to read and attempt to process and understand the steps of the nursing process and how it relates to writing care plans. there is a flow to how this process is supposed to work. i've used the analogy of going shopping for a nursing diagnosis with a shopping list of your assessment data you have collected when choosing nursing diagnoses. i've also suggested that students put each of their assessment data items on a card and then sort those cards into piles where data seem related to try to illustrate the concept of "grouping" the data. then, each pile gets a nursing diagnosis named to it. i just posted to a thread about goals and how they need relate back and reflect the nursing interventions you've chosen. your nursing interventions must match up with your assessment data items. all the elements of a care plan are part of one big related cycle. i'm still trying to figure out if there is easier language to put it all into. i started out last summer trying to do that and found that it was a much more complex task than i thought it was going to be. some nursing programs are utilizing care maps, or concept maps, which is a visual way of putting all the elements of the care plan together. you can see an explanation of how this works at this site:
. you can see some student examples of concept maps on this thread: