I believe that the root cause of the confusion is that in the medical world, the "diagnosis" and the "disease" are the same thing. So when physicians and/or average people say "diagnosis," they are usually referring to the "disease." The same is true of engineering diagnoses, plumbers' diagnoses, etc. When most people say "diagnoses," they are talking about the cause of the problems the client is experiencing, not the signs/symptoms/effects of those underlying problems.
When nurses started to use the word "nursing diagnosis" instead of "nursing problems," it created a new category of diagnoses -- one that is not synonomous with the disease. Hence, the confusion. I wish they had used a different word or phrase.
Last edit by llg on Oct 30, '09