there are basically two kinds of formats to care plan books. (1) those that are set up by medical diagnoses (which i think is what your instructor is referring you to get), and (2) those that are set up by nursing diagnosis (that's the ackley and ladwig book that psyck referenced above. there is a big difference between them.
those that are set up by medical diagnosis contain care plans
by the most common medical diagnoses organized by body systems. you'll see care plans for things like copd, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, cancer, pressure ulcers, surgery and for some commonly performed invasive procedures to name a few. the carpenito books are set up this way. so are some of the care plans books by doenges and moorhouse. they will have nursing diagnosis listed and expanded upon that generally fit with each of the medical diagnoses they are addressing. this is often what students are looking for when they post questions for help with care plans. (i have a patient with copd. any suggest for nursing diagnoses i can use?) the problem with them is if you have to do a care plan on a patient with a disease that isn't addressed in these books.
the books set up by nursing diagnosis do not
, let me repeat that, do not
, stress medical diagnosis. they concentrate solely on each nursing diagnosis and give you expanded information about what that nursing diagnosis is all about. you have to understand the nursing process to be able to use these books. many of these books list nursing interventions that might apply to the defining characteristics (symptoms) of that particular diagnosis. while these lists are helpful, they are not all-inclusive! if people are looking for extensive lists of nursing interventions there is a work published by the nurses who worked on the nic (nursing interventions criteria) that nanda uses that can be purchased. the ackley/ladwig book and one other which i do not know the name of, in particular to them only, contain an alphabetized list of symptoms, problems, medical diagnoses and clinical states that will give you suggestions for nursing diagnoses for those symptoms, problems, medical diagnoses and clinical states. however, you still have to turn to the pages of those nursing diagnoses and ferret out the information that will be pertinent to the case you are working on. it also presupposes that you did your assessment of the patient correctly. if you missed a symptom, this book isn't going to remind you of that symptom.
as you can see, there are good arguments to support both types of books. before you buy any book (most of these cost in the range of $30-$50) go to a website like barnes and noble or amazon
where you can actually look at the table of contents pages of some of these books. that will tell you how they are set up and organized. in some cases, you might be able to go to a bookstore and actually look a copy of some of these books before purchasing one.
now, i am familiar with the books others have recommended above. i have 5 care plan books that i use to help me answer care plan questions here on the nursing student forums if i get stuck. i have carpenito, ackley/ladwig and doenges/moorhouse. however, i also have one other that no one else has mentioned that i happen to think is an excellent student resource that just might fit the bill for you. it was written for students by two professors of nursing. nursing care plans: nursing diagnosis and intervention
, 6th edition, by meg gulanick and judith l. myers. the first section of the book lists 62 nursing diagnoses that they consider to be the most commonly used and gives you the definition of the diagnoses, it's common related factors, defining characteristics, expected outcomes, and then it breaks down the nursing interventions into: ongoing assessment, therapeutic interventions and education and continuity of care. and that is only the beginning part of the book. the much larger part of the book has care plans by medical diagnosis organized by body systems. there are also two chapters with care plans for men's health and women's health. the book is 1100+ pages. there is also an online care plan constructor that i often post links to where you can see excerpts from some of their nursing diagnosis pages http://www1.us.elsevierhealth.com/me...ctor/index.cfm