How many care plans do you do?


How many care plans do you do?

Before I started nursing school, I read how I was going to have to do tons and tons of care plans. The reality of my nursing school, however, is that we do literally ONE care plan per semester. Some clinical instructors do make us informally come up with a nursing diagnosis and plan, but we only do one full care plan that is a graded assignment. Do many of you do them daily for clinical?

24 Answers

Specializes in Neuro. Has 4 years experience.

First semester we had to do 2 care plans total, then after that, we did anywhere from 4 to 8 each semester. To only do one a semester is very surprising to hear.

Specializes in ED. Has 4 years experience.

I am in the final semester of a three year BSN program. During the first year we learned about nursing diagnosis, learned about care plans, maybe had an assignment or two to practice them, and then had one large project that revolved around nursing diagnosis and care planning. But that was it, we have not had to do anything with them since.

I think the amount of care planning a student does in school is hugely variable since nursing curriculum is not standardized in that way. Personally I think it falls on a bell curve and on this forum we hear most from the outliers. Someone who is doing a ton of care plans is likely way more vocal about it than someone who has had to do a small handful.

During our first clinical rotation, we do one for each of our five theory classes. Second and third rotations, we do two care plans during each rotation. During specialty clinicals in our third and fourth rotations, we do one for each rotation, although I'm in a combined geriatrics/palliative clinical, so my instructor requested that we do two - one with a geri focus and one with a palliative focus.

Each week, we also write a nursing process record that's about 12 pages long and includes all of our assessment data and the "web" of possible nursing diagnoses for five NANDA domains. We then pull all of that together to write the care plans and combine it with a CINAHL article that uses research to support our interventions, but again - we don't have to do that many. The first clinical rotation is the hardest, but you learn how to do them and it's so much easier from them on out. My first clinical instructor got us in the mindset of mentally doing mini care plans constantly so that it becomes second nature to use critical thinking to connect the dots, so in pre-conference, I always give the admitting medical dx, a possible nursing dx, a lab value and a med that I would expect to see, a focused assessment that will be important, and an intervention I can do that day. Instructors appreciate this, and more importantly, it's training us to quickly run through the important aspects of care as soon as we walk in the pt.'s room.

NICUmiiki, DNP, NP

1,774 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Has 8 years experience.

We did one per clinical day. Even when we had 4-5 patients towards the end, we picked one of them to do the comprehensive care plan on each week.

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

We did a care plan every single week in my program up until the last month of nursing school. Typically, you had to type up a bunch of stuff that was due before day 1 of clinical and then after you did your assessment, you had to type up a bunch more stuff and submit it after day 2 of clinical. It was horrific and I hated it so much!


66 Posts

One?! This semester (my second), we did 5. But I'm in an accelerated program. Still, for med-surg I and II, for example, we did 3 each.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency Department.

Im in an ADN program and we have to do 5-6, 2 system careplans per quarter with full patient data sheets. It takes quite a while for me to complete it but I actually don't mind it. A lot of the info really helps me apply what I am learning in my theory class.

Specializes in Oncology.

First semester, we do 3 careplans for med-surg 1, second semester we do 3 for med-surg 2 and another 2 for psych (total of 5), third semester I believe we do 2 for peds and 2 for labor and delivery (total of 4), not sure how it’s done in 4th semester. Our careplans are somewhat long and end up being about 20 pages each.

iWish, ADN, RN

25 Posts

In my BSN program: first clinical = 2 care plans; 2nd clinical = 3 care plans; 3rd clinical = 1 care plan (didnt finish the program) these care plans were easy, maybe 8 pages total.

My now ADN program: first clinical = 5 care plans (22 pages each) killer for time. 2nd clinical .... probably just as many if not more, we shall see.

iWish, ADN, RN

25 Posts

36 minutes ago, Rionoir said:

What the actual hell are you writing 22 pages of for a care plan?! Ours are literally the single page 6-box type care plan.

5 pages equal medication cards, nursing dx page is usually 3-4 pages, discharge plan is 2 pages, intro page is 1, I&O is 1, lab values is 2, correlation sheet is 2 but suchhhh a pain, plus more. It's very very detailed and imo overkill. The previous care plans I wrote were strictly nursing dx and discharge planning without all the other details.

To add: most of it is box type for ours as well but each box is completely filled in and the entire page. It takes me several hours to write. It's not that difficult but very time consuming. I wish all we had to do was our nursing dx page and discharge planning page.

Specializes in Neuro. Has 4 years experience.
19 hours ago, Rionoir said:

What the actual hell are you writing 22 pages of for a care plan?! Ours are literally the single page 6-box type care plan.

My record is 26 pages. This is not unusual. We don't have just 6 boxes. The blank packet before we fill anything out is usually 6-10 pages (BLANK!). Lord the medication list pages with detailed explanation once filled out are 2-3 pages alone at least, the lab pages as well (we have to explain normal & abnormal labs& imaging & why they are testing in first place). Add in patient background page, etiology, pathology, breakdown of each of the patients major systems & what & why things are happening, then the full NANDA pages at the end. I'm shocked at only having "6 boxes".

It takes minimum 2 days to do a care plan. At clinical we have to rush to just collect the data for the care plan. And everything has to be patient specific. Not simple what is this med for, but why is patient taking, how does it effect their labs, their vitals, what side effects are they showing, etc.

Has 5 years experience.
22 hours ago, Rionoir said:

What the actual hell are you writing 22 pages of for a care plan?! Ours are literally the single page 6-box type care plan.

Ours are also 22 pages. They fill up quickly. Labs. Assessment of every system. Histories are various issues. A solid page just of meds. Etc.....