Definition: a five-part systematic decision-making method focusing on identifying and treating responses of individuals or groups to actual or potential alterations in health. Includes assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The first phase of the nursing process is assessment, which consists of data collection by such means as interviewing, physical examination, and observation. It requires collection of both objective and subjective data. The second phase is nursing diagnosis, a clinical judgment about individual, family, or community nursing responses to actual or potential health problems/life processes. Provides the basis for selection of nursing intervention to achieve outcomes for which the nurse is accountable (NANDA, 1990). The third phase is planning, which requires establishment of outcome criteria for the client's care. The fourth phase is implementation (intervention). This phase involves demonstrating those activities that will be provided to and with the client to allow achievement of the expected outcomes of care. Evaluation is the fifth and final phase of the nursing process. It requires comparison of client's current state with the stated expected outcomes and results in revision of the plan of care to enhance progress toward the stated outcomes.
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