“All the care plans I’ve written sure will come in handy when I’m a practicing nurse!”
Okay, odds are you are never really going to have that thought―especially when the patient you created a care plan for is discharged 5 minutes after your shift starts and you have to start researching a nursing diagnosis for someone new. However torturous they may seem in the moment, nursing care plans actually do have a purpose, especially for the new nurse. Care plans serve as a sort of “care road maps” that force you to think critically about patient needs and the best way to meet them. While assessing, diagnosing, implementing, and evaluating nursing care will likely become second nature when you’re a seasoned nurse, when you’re first starting, care plans are a good way to get you thinking about your nursing practice. And luckily for you, you’ll get what feels like thousands of chances to practice throughout your time as a student nurse!