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Written Nursing Care Plans

Hi All,

I received a job description from a small hospital on Vancouver Island, in BC, and saw that "written nursing care plan" was part of nursing duties. I have never done a written care plan - The University I attended in Alberta did away with formal care plans about 5 or 6 years ago. We are given different medical scenarios and asked to prepare a presentation with what nursing "measures" would be implemented to provide proper care, which I believe, is the same thing. In Alberta, we have computerized systems in the hosptials , and the majority of orders, including care measures, are in our patients summaries/printouts. I'm curious to know, how many of you out there who graduated within the last few years, were taught to do written care plans? I have talked to other nurses from BC and the Yukon Territories, who said care plans were part of their nursing program...not sure about the rest of Canada?

Jo, RN, BN, BA


I am a RPN nursing student at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, going into my 2nd semester and we are learning care plans.

We have: The Data (behaviours); Cause (stimuli); Client Problem/Nursing Diagnosis; Client Goals; Nursing Interventions; Rationale; then Evaluation.

As far as I'm aware of, we do it here in Ontario.

Hi, I am a Practical Nursing student here in lower mainland BC and it is a big part of our training. It would and will be beneficial to know what a care plan is.. the focus(problem), the goal(what is the your objective), the intervention(what do you plan to do) and the rational (what is behind your intervention and why are you doing it)... this is the way i was taught and it has helped me greatly in this last term in acute.

Hi, I am a third year nursing student from Newfoundland. Nursing care plans have definetly been apart of our educational training. We have to prepare at least 4 a semester. Sometimes they can be quiet difficult. When writing a nursing care plan, you have to think of a process - what is the health problem, what objective/subjective evidence supports this health problem, what possible nursing interventions may help alleviate this health problem, and lastly were these interventions successful in helping alleviate the health problem.

If you have difficulty writing a care plan, there are always books at the library that can assist you with writing a nursing care plan. One I use quite frequently is:

Nursing care plans : nursing diagnosis and intervention / [edited by] Meg Gulanick ... [et al.]

Gulanick, Meg

5th ed

I hope this makes writing a nursing care plan a little easier......

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

joey1967. . .although I'm not from Canada I have been in nursing for 30 years before the U.S. came out with all this NANDA nursing diagnosis stuff. Care plans were very straightforward and easier then. On a block like format with columns we first listed a patient problem, then a desired outcome and, finally, in the third column the nursing actions the entire nursing staff was to follow.

Very simply, if you had a patient who had pain.

Problem: pain in abdomen following surgery

Goal: pain will be painfree or comfortable in order to carry out ADLs

Interventions: give pain medication as ordered

assess patient level of pain and need for analgesia every 2 hours

encourage physical activity one hour after receiving pain medication

That's how it goes. It's very common sense oriented. Here's the problem and here's what we're going to do about it.

As a written care plan, they may also mean a type of "tick" sheet that is very fast and easy. There are areas to expand on specifics if required. Goodness knows we all do too much paper work as it is......


Specializes in Peritoneol Dialysis. Has 1 years experience.

Hi joey I am a 2nd year RPN and i am having the worst time with NCP`s i beleive they are very long and drawn out they need to be simplified somehow there is way too much paper work and wasted effort when a tick sheet or a 3 column page as daytonite described would be far easier and to the point, but that said i use the book called Nursing care plans made easy there is a whole section of them available for all types of things like anatomy and phisiology made easy. We follow the Roy method and it is not easy quite confusing actually. But give it a whirl and i hope it helps.

They were a huge part of my LPN training and are as well in the BN program I am in know. Both in Manitoba.

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