Best Guide for Writing a Nursing Process Essay

Last Updated: 29 April 2024

Are you struggling with a nursing process essay assignment? Worry not. Our online nursing writers understand that a nursing process essay is challenging to write because it requires a deep understanding of all the critical steps involved. For this reason, our writers have come up with a comprehensive guide to help you. We have also defined what a nursing process essay is, its purpose, and its characteristics. We have also provided an outline to guide you through the process of writing the essay and included a sample.

Short History of the Nursing Process

The term nursing process was first uttered in 1955 by Lydia Hall, a nursing theorist. She introduced three significant steps to the process: observation, administration of care, and validation.

But in 1967, Yura and Walsh further developed the process by adding assessment as the fourth step. From there, the process was referred to as (APIE). However, it wasn't until 1974 that the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA) added the nursing diagnosis to the process, making it a five-step process.

What is a Nursing Process?

A nursing process is a systematic method used by healthcare professionals, including nurses, to provide care to patients in healthcare facilities. It involves a series of steps that lead one to accomplish the set goals. A nursing process ensures that caregivers offer individualized, holistic, effective, patient-focused care to all.

The process is based on the Standards of Professional Nursing Practice established by the American Nurses Association (ANA). These standards guide nurses' behaviors and actions regardless of their roles, positions, populations, or capacities. To provide care to patients, caregivers must adopt critical thinking skills, client-centred approaches to treatment, goal-oriented tasks, evidence-based practice (EDP) recommendations, and nursing intuition.

A nursing process consists of the following components: assessment (data collection), Nursing Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. Use the mnemonic ADPIE to help remember these steps.

What is the Purpose of a Nursing Process?

Many nursing students, at some point, will ask themselves what the purpose of the nursing process essay is without realizing how essential it is in the medical field. That said, the following are all the reasons why the nursing process is needed:

  1. To establish the needs of a patient.
  2. Develop plans that meet the identified.
  3. Develop specific nursing interventions that meet those needs.
  4. Provide professional nursing care to all.
  5. To properly guide nursing practices for activities that include health promotion and protection and disease prevention.
  6. Providing a foundation for nurses and nurses students to practice to understand their critical thinking skills.
  7. The nursing process is important to pharmacotherapeutics as it guides drug administration decisions.

Research has shown that incorporating the nursing process into patient care is critical in the dynamic, complex world of patient care. It is especially important in the care of the aging population who suffer from various health problems and are also at risk of experiencing missed chances to spot life-threatening illnesses.

Characteristics of the Nursing Process

The nursing process has some distinguishing characteristics that you must be aware of before writing a nursing process essay.

  1. Goel-oriented- a nursing process essay must be guided by specific goals and purposes based on the health of the patient. Please note that the goals should be driven by the patient's problems and report your problems as a nurse.
  2. The organized/systematic process comprises five significant steps, each depending on the others.
  3. Cyclic and dynamic—the nursing process is continuous because it is hard to predict health issues, as they can change over time.
  4. Individualized & Humanistic Care—The nursing process provides a foundation of care based on each patient's needs. This means that the plan of care for one patient will not be the same as that of another. For example, a 10-year-old patient with diabetes will not have the same plan of care as that of a 70-year-old man.
  5. Involves decision-making skills- caregivers make critical decisions for the sake of the patient's life. The nursing process provides a systematic step in which they can make these decisions.

Outline of a Nursing Process Essay

Now that you know what a nursing process is, it's time to determine what should be included in a nursing process essay.


This is the first paragraph of your nursing process essay, which introduces the readers to what the paper is about. In any healthcare setting, every nurse must address patients' needs and concerns. When this is not done at all or done inefficiently, the life of the patient is jeopardized.

One must understand that nurses must consider the patient holistically. In other words, they should focus on the patient's physical, spiritual, mental, and social well-being to understand how to effectively care for them.

Nurse Process

After the introduction, jump right into the process and discuss each of them individually.

Please note that each step in the nursing process is critical and requires patients' collaboration to ensure its effectiveness. Furthermore, it doesn't have any specified time; it can last days, months, or years, depending on the client's health status.

At this stage, Talk about these steps in relation to the patient under discussion.

Steps of a Nursing Process

The following are the five stages of the nursing process that you can use to write your essay. Each step relies on the efficiency of the others, so it's important to master all of them.

Step 1: Assessment

Assessment refers to the systematic and dynamic way of collecting, analyzing, and communicating patient data, which is key in determining the proper plan of care. Sources of patient data include:

The nurses use various data collection strategies by assessment to gather this information. These strategies include:

  1. Interviews— this includes asking the patient questions about their health, what brought them to the hospital, etc. It consists of three key stages: 1. Introduction, 2. Working, 3. Closure.
  2. Observations involve noting the patient's general appearance and behaviours. They are crucial in determining the client's health status, both physical and mental.
  3. Physical examination is done through the following techniques:
  4. Inspection
  5. Palpation
  6. Percussion
  7. Auscultation

After assessment, the data must be documented to ensure smooth communication among the healthcare team that will be attending to the patient.

There are various types of assessment:

Step 2: Diagnosis

This refers to the clinical judgment given to the patient based on the results of their assessment. According to the NANDA diagnosis is the judgment based on clinical knowledge that helps in determining potential or actual patient experiences and responses to health problems and life processes.

Through diagnosis, nurses can understand the patient’s actual response to potential health problems.

Please note that there is a difference between nursing diagnosis and medical diagnosis. A medical diagnosis is given by a physician and identifies a specific disease, condition, or pathological state.

Activities conducted at this stage include:

  1. Interpreting and analyzing data
  2. Identifying the strengths and health problems of the patient.
  3. Formulating and validating diagnosis
  4. Developing a prioritized list of diagnosis
  5. Detecting and referring signs and symptoms indicating a problem that nurses can’t handle

At this point, there are various types of diagnosis:

  1. Actual diagnosis— a problem that the existence of its characteristics has validated.
  2. Risk nursing diagnosis- a clinical judgment that an individual is more likely to develop a certain problem.
  3. Possible nursing diagnosis- describe the suspected problem.
  4. Wellness diagnosis is judgment about a person or group of people who are transitioning from a certain level of wellness to a higher level of wellness.
  5. Syndrome nursing diagnoses

Step 3: Planning

Planning involves the formulation of guidelines to prevent, reduce, or resolve the identified client health problems. Some of the activities at this point include:

  1. Establish priorities.
  2. Identify what the expected patient is.
  3. Select the appropriate evidence-based nursing intervention for the patient.
  4. Communicate the plan of care to the patient and their close family.
  5. Record the nursing care plan in the patient's records.

For each patient issue, the nurse must assign a goal for the patient’s positive outcome. The goals of a nurse care plan must be:

Good planning enhances communication, documentation, reimbursement, and continuity of care in every healthcare facility.

Please note that the nursing plan occurs in three stages:

The main goals here are to prevent disease and illness, restore health, and enable the patient to cope with altered functioning.

Related: How to format a paper in APA.

Stege 4: Implementation

What are the actions that the nurse will take to ensure the goals conducted in the planning stages come to fruition? Implementation refers to any actions/ interventions the nurse will do to improve the life of the patient.

For instance, if the goal is pain management for conditions such as arthritis, some examples of nursing interventions include Teaching critical exercises that can help reduce pain.

When writing your essay, you must highlight these interventions and ensure they are related to the patient's condition.

Nursing interventions are classified into three:

Every intervention administered must be documented to help in evaluating and examining the patient’s health status.

Step 5: Evaluation

This is the final phase of the nursing process. The evaluation aims to check whether the interventions have worked and whether the desired goals have been met. To do this, the nurse must review all the stages in the nursing process.

Evaluation is done when the nurse interacts with the patient. This phase is systematic and ongoing because the aim is to identify the factors that contribute to the patient's health success or failure. Depending on the results, the nurse can modify the plan of care.

A successful evaluation is achieved when the nurse is in constant communication with the patient throughout the process. Nurses can get feedback about what they did right or wrong, which can help them make improvements for the future.

Please note that it is important to apply critical thinking skills at every stage of the nursing process to recognize health issues that could put the life of the patient at risk and develop effective ways of dealing with them. As you write the paper, remember to include references, preferably peer-reviewed journals published in the last 5 years.

Related Read: Great Capstone Project Topics for Nursing Students.

Nursing Process Essay Example

To show you exactly how to write a nursing assessment process essay, we have put together the following example.

The example is based on a case of a 20-year-old female admitted to the hospital. Her body temperature is elevated, and she has a chesty cough producing green phlegm. Her breathing is fast with difficulty.


Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that, if not treated, could lead to serious complications. Through the nursing process, I can guide my approach to determining the best form of care for the patient.


For this patient, my first step involved taking the vital signs, which include the temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse oximetry. I also assessed the lungs to determine the sounds, oxygen saturation levels, and cough produced. I went through the patient's medical history and reviewed all the medications that the patient was taking or taking for their symptoms.

Through my assessment, I found that V/S is temperature 39.1C, pulse 92 b/m, respiration rate 28 b/m, and blood pressure 122/80 mm/hg. Chest auscultation revealed respiratory crackles.

Some other signs I observed include the following:


Ineffective airway clearance is caused by the accumulation of sputum, as manifested by chesty and productive cough. She is breathing rapidly and with difficulty.

The sputum cultures and sensitivities revealed the presence of infecting organisms.

The chest X-rays showed that the patient's lungs had areas of increased density. This is an indication of possible infection.

Related Reading: How to write a nursing concept analysis paper.


To help the patient, the following are the desired goals and expected outcomes:


To help the patient deal with ineffective airway clearance, I used the following interventions:


My plan at this point is to monitor the progress of the patient and whether the interventions administered are working. The goal of the evaluation was to help me determine whether to continue, stop, or change the interventions used.

My evaluation involved the following;

My conclusion is that the interventions used helped improve the patient’s health. The patient responded positively to all the interventions.

Related Reading: How to write a nursing care plan.

Issues of Concern with the Nursing Process

Even though the nursing process is an important tool in providing quality care to patients, studies have raised issues of concern. For instance, a 2011 study conducted in Mekelle Zone hospitals showed that the majority of nurses lacked the right knowledge necessary to implement the nursing process into health practice. It showed that these nurses were inhibited by factors that included nurse-patient ratios.

90% of the study participants lacked the necessary experience to apply the process to standard practice. Other issues that inhibit nurses from applying the nursing process in providing patient care include a shortage of available resources and increased workloads caused by high patient-nurse ratios.


The nursing process is a critical tool that helps improve patient care. For nurses, the nursing care plan helps show whether your actions helped improve the health of the patient. On the other hand, patients benefit, and the nursing process is effective. When they are an active participant in their care, their health status improves.

Thus, as a nursing student, it is important to learn how to write a good nursing process essay to prepare yourself for a future career as a nurse.

If you need further help understanding this critical process or writing the essay, our writers can help. Place an order today for more information.  GradeCrest is a leading nursing custom writing website that guarantees you 100% human-hand-crafted papers that are 100% original and plagiarism-free.