How nurses help develop treatment plans


Nurses are skilled healthcare professionals who work with patients to provide nursing care, and they use a wide range of skills and knowledge to meet the needs of individual patients. A major aspect of this work is developing treatment plans that include specific interventions for a patient’s clinical condition. Nurses develop these plans based on the patient’s individualized needs, as well as their professional knowledge base and experience.

Nurses play a key role in developing treatment plans

Nurses develop a plan of care based on the patient’s clinical condition and are responsible for implementing and evaluating their plan.

This means that nurses must be able to communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals. It is their job to ensure that each patient receives the best treatment possible, including consulting with specialists or ordering additional tests if needed. In some cases, this also includes communicating with patients’ family members about their loved one’s prognosis or treatment options.

In addition to diagnosing health problems, nurses develop and implement treatment plans. A nurse will develop a plan of care based on the patient’s clinical condition that may include medication, diet and exercise recommendations or other interventions to help return the patient to good health. Nurses are responsible for implementing and evaluating their plans and collaborating with other medical professionals to provide comprehensive care for their patients. They work with patients and families to set realistic goals that help them achieve their treatment plan’s aims.

Nurses work with patients and families to set realistic goals

Nurses help patients and families develop treatment plans that are realistic and achievable. The nurse will evaluate the patient’s capabilities and limitations and use those findings to create a treatment plan that considers the patient’s goals and preferences. Nurses also help patients meet their goals by providing education, support, counseling and other services.

Nurses work with physicians to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient. They coordinate with other healthcare team members to ensure that all aspects of care are provided promptly. If a doctor recommends surgery or another type of procedure, nurses provide preoperative care, including preparing the patient physically, mentally and emotionally for surgery. They also offer postoperative care until the patient is ready to return home from the hospital or outpatient setting.

Examples of realistic goals might include the following:

  • Learning how to take care of yourself at home after surgery (for example, dressing wounds)
  • Completing a physical activity such as walking or swimming by a certain date
  • Decreasing pain levels so you can go back to work or school

Nurses are the bridge between patients and their caregivers

Nurses educate patients and caregivers about treatment plans and communicate with other health professionals who may be involved in the patient’s care. They also help families understand what is going on, answer questions, and invite them to ask questions. 

Nurses often support patients during difficult times by coordinating services for them, being flexible with scheduling, helping them make decisions about medication and dietary changes, listening to what they want and need from the hospital experience, and serving as patient advocates when needed.

Nurses are patient advocates

Nurses advocate for their patients, ensuring their wishes are honored in healthcare decisions. As a nurse, you will work closely with your patients and their families to ensure they receive the best care. You may also help them to make healthcare decisions to achieve the desired outcomes. 

As a nurse, you must know what matters most to your patients so you can advocate for them during treatments or procedures. Your job is not just about ensuring they have good health; it’s also about seeing that their wishes are honored in healthcare decisions.

Nurses have a nursing care plan

A nursing care plan is a written document that outlines a patient’s treatment goals and objectives based on a diagnosis. To develop a nursing care plan, the patient’s nurse will assess their condition to determine which treatments are needed. The nurse then creates this document, including all relevant information about the patient’s condition and its treatment.

The plan can be created at any time throughout the course of treatment but should be updated as needed depending on changes in the patient’s condition or new information about it. The plan guides how nurses provide care for patients with similar conditions and is an important reference point when deciding how best to proceed wih treatment over time.

Components of a good nursing care plan

To develop an effective nursing care plan, you need to consider five components: assessment, diagnosis, outcomes and planning, implementation and evaluation.


Assessment is the first step in developing a nursing care plan. It involves gathering information about the client’s health status and determining which nursing interventions are required to meet the client’s needs. The nurse collects data on the client’s current health status, past medical history and family history, and functional abilities. The nurse also assesses the client’s psychosocial needs and risk factors that may affect their ability to achieve desired outcomes.

The nurse uses the findings of their assessment to develop an appropriate plan of care that meets the client’s goals and needs. This process often begins with an assessment interview, followed by a physical assessment. The interview includes asking questions about medical history and symptoms experienced by the client since admission or during hospitalization. 

Information gathered during this process helps identify potential problems related to nutrition, activity tolerance, safety issues, pain management, comfort and emotional concerns.

During physical assessment, the nurse examines specific body systems such as:

  • Cardiovascular or respiratory systems
  • Fluid balance
  • Pain level, if applicable
  • Skin integrity (abrasions/wounds)
  • Mobility level, if applicable
  • Cognitive ability (ability to understand instructions)
  • Physical activity tolerance level, if applicable


A nursing diagnosis expresses a clinical judgment about the human response to actual or potential health problems and life processes. It identifies a clinical situation in which a patient experiences complex signs and symptoms related to psychological, social, or spiritual factors that interfere with health and well-being.

The diagnosis is a summary of what is wrong with the client and can be used by nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide treatment. 

It may also include risk factors that might increase complications during treatment, such as a history of diabetes or heart disease.

Outcomes and planning

The outcomes are what the patient needs to achieve or prevent to be successful with the intervention. For example, if the diagnosis is cancer, possible outcomes might be to increase their quality of life or prevent disease progression. These outcomes should be measurable. This is where you should also include your goals for the patient, such as improving mobility.

The purpose of a nursing care plan is to provide a framework for organizing patient care activities and documenting them in a way that makes them useful for both nurses and other members of the healthcare team.

A nursing care plan includes all of the aspects of treatment needed for each patient. It also contains instructions on implementing these treatments and what steps to take if complications arise during treatment. Nursing care plans can be written or electronic, depending on your facility’s policies and procedures.

A well-written nursing care plan helps nurses meet their legal responsibility to provide safe, effective and compassionate patient care based on current research standards and guidelines for practice.


Implementing treatment plans involves protocols and guidelines developed by medical professionals such as physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare workers who specialize in different areas, such as psychiatry or surgery.

In some specialties in nursing, nurses may also follow their own protocols when implementing treatment plans. Nurse practitioner specialties serve as opportunities to tap into specific areas of interest as a nurse practitioner (NP), and Spring Arbor University offer a number of courses which enable students to carve their own path. Each specialty offers a multitude of clinical settings and patient populations to work with, in addition to a highly rewarding practice.

Nurses also educate patients and their families about their treatment plan, its goals and how to implement it at home after discharge.


Evaluation is one of the most important parts of nursing care planning because it allows nurses to assess how well their patients respond to treatments and interventions. This is done through ongoing monitoring of how well patients are doing compared to what was expected at certain stages in their treatment or recovery process. Nurses also evaluate how well their patients cope with changes in their lives after being hospitalized or undergoing surgery. These changes can affect their overall health status.

Evaluation results also help nurses to assess whether they need to modify a patient’s treatment plan or develop a new one based on further information gathered during the evaluation process.


Nurses play an important role in the development of a treatment plan. They are the ones who work with their patients daily and know which treatments will be helpful for them. Nurses can also help patients and families understand how to follow their treatment plan.

Nurses educate patients and caregivers about treatment plans, including explanations of medications and other therapies and how they should be taken. Nurses also teach patients about symptoms and side effects that might occur during treatment.

In addition to providing information, nurses can encourage patients to continue with their treatment plan by offering support, encouragement and reassurance. This may involve showing empathy for the patient’s feelings or concerns about their condition. In some cases, nurses may prescribe medication when appropriate under state law. Would you like to become a nurse? Visit to learn how.


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