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Care Plans
 This page was last updated on 15-Jun-02

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are plans help nurses with patient evaluation, nursing diagnosis and the prioritization of care.  They also help to ensure the quality and continuity of care. Student nurses write a lot of care plans over the course of their schooling and it can be a challenge.  While there are quite a few resources on the internet to help you with care plan writing, keep in mind that each school has its own format and each patient is unique.  Sample care plans are a great way to familiarize yourself with the process and to make sure you aren't overlooking anything - but ultimately, the success of your care plans will depend on your own investigative, assessment and critical thinking skills.

To help you get started, we've created a care plan template and rounded up the best resources on the internet: is dedicated to addressing the entire care planning process, including assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation as defined in the nursing process. The site includes a large, searchable care plan library and message/chat forums.

Developed by SupRNurse, this tutorial gives a nice overview of assessment, diagnosis, planning, interventions and evaluation.

From the University of Buffalo, the Nursing Care Plans List Archives contain 5 years' worth of care plan submissions you can review.  Searchable by topic!

RN Central maintains a database of 50 printable, pre-defined care plans you can modify.  They also have a blank care plan format you can print out and use.

This site has several good care plans for review.

Guidelines for writing care plans, interviewing patients and using Gordon's 11 functional patterns.

The Student Nurse Forum's very own Care Plan Template is a handy MS Word document we created that will save you time on formatting so there will be more time for care planning!
Simply download the file, open a new document in Word using the CarePlan template and fill in the blanks! Formatted for use with MS Word '97 or higher.  See sample below.

Care Plan Template Preview

I always like to know what I am downloading beforehand, so I don't take up extra space on my computer with something I don't want. Here is what the Student Nurse Forum's free Care Plan Template basically looks like. In Word, the template is black and white, larger and has more space for writing.  As you fill in the blanks, the fields will expand to accommodate your needs.  You can also insert extra rows for more nursing interventions, outcome goals, etc.

Care Plan for (insert condition)

Student Name:
        Current Date:
Dates Care Given:

 Admission Diagnosis/History:

 Nursing Diagnosis:

Objective Data
Subjective Data

 Potential Complications:

Expected Outcome
Outcome Criteria
TD: Target Date          DA: Date Achieved




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