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Nursing Process

The Nursing process is a five step goal-oriented framework which outlines nursing care.  It is a cyclical process that could end at any stage if the problem is solved. The five steps are assessment, nursing diagnosis, outcome identification and planning, implementation and evaluation.

Assessment phase: the nurse collects subjective and objective data using a recognized nursing assessment framework. Assessment can be completed through interviews, physical examinations, diagnostic data, obtaining a family history report and observation.

Diagnosing phase: a nursing diagnosis represents the nurse’s judgment about a client’s actual or potential health problems. The diagnosis is achieved based on defining characteristics and risk factors found within the assessment.

Outcome Identification and Planning phase: the nurse works with the client to set realistic outcomes for the problems identified during the diagnosing phase. By the end of this phase, the nurse will have developed a nursing care plan.

Implementation phase: the nurse implements the nursing care plan by performing the interventions chosen to meet the client’s desired health outcomes.

Evaluation phase: the nurse evaluates the progress towards the outcomes. If the interventions do not appear to be effective, the nurse must change the care plan accordingly. 

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