Nursing Research Paper: What is the nursing process?

Research PaperNursing

A research paper is a written academic project. A structure like an essay should have an introduction, body, and conclusion, the research paper is distinguished by its utilization of information from credible scholarly sources to support a specific idea or claim. This sample nursing research paper discusses the model known as the nursing process.

Since its humble beginnings in ancient times, nursing has developed dramatically over the centuries to become one of the most important and specialized professions not only in the healthcare system but in any industry. Contemporary standards require nurses to apply evidence-based practice, engage in nursing research when possible to produce new knowledge, and utilize sophisticated theories, frameworks, and models in the delivery of care. One method that has been at the core of the nursing practice is the nursing process. Regardless of the specific setting, a nurse has to know what the nursing process is. More importantly, a nurse has to be able to apply this method in their practice. The nursing process is a simple and universally applicable method that can be utilized to ensure the provision of individualized high-quality evidenced-based care.

Definition and History of the Nursing Process

The nursing process is basically a process that nurses use to provide safe and competent care to patients. It is defined as “a systematic, rational method of planning that guides all nursing actions in delivering holistic and patient-focused care” (Wayne, 2022). In other words, the nursing process can be considered as a kind of framework that guides how a nurse collects, interprets, and responds to information within the context of nurse-patient interaction (Karimi, 2011). The nursing process traces its origin to the work of Ida Jean Orlando who in 1958 described a four-step process that nurses could use to interpret information and respond to the needs of a patient. The process featured the assessment of information, planning of interventions, implementation of the interventions, and evaluation of the results (Alligood & Tomey, 2010). The process was eventually refined over the decades. The most recent iteration of the process involves seven stages. However, this has not necessarily rendered obsolete the five-stage process that most nurses have come to know. Indeed, many textbooks today still present the five-step process as a simple and reliable model. These five steps are discussed in more detail in the succeeding sections. To better understand how the nursing process works, a patient diagnosed with coronary artery disease will be used as an example.

The wonder of the nursing process is that it can be used in almost every setting and context. Because it is first and foremost a scientific method designed to identify and address existing problems, it is scalable and therefore useful in many situations. The nursing process is primarily seen in the clinical setting being applied to individual patients. But it can also be used on broader levels such as in communities and populations (Peate, 2019). For instance, the nursing process can be used in helping patients quit smoking due to the negative effects of smoking, in planning meals for diabetics, and even in addressing issues in community health nursing such as the lack of mental health screening in disadvantaged communities.


The first step of the nursing process is assessment. In this step, the nurse conducts data collection by asking or looking for information about the patient. Data is classified as either subjective or objective. Subjective data refers to information that the patient or caregiver provides. These may include any sensation that the patient feels such as pain as well as emotions. Subjective data often cannot be directly measured and may vary from patient to patient. Pain, for instance, is subjective data and challenging to measure precisely. On the other hand, objective data refers to information that can be observed and measured by the nurse itself. These include vital signs, outward appearance, and intake and output among others (Peate, 2019; Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). Assessment is a crucial step in the nursing process because the data collected will be analyzed in order to accurately diagnose the concern or problem of the patient. For instance, a patient diagnosed with coronary artery disease may be assessed for a variety of factors including the presence of pain, comprehension of the condition, vital signs, and diet and physical activity.


The second step is formulating a diagnosis based on the collected data. In this step, the nurse interprets the data and identifies one or more nursing diagnoses. A nursing diagnosis can be defined as a clinical judgment that the nurse makes that serves as the basis for an intervention. A nursing diagnosis is often derived from the literature compiled by NANDA International (formerly the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association). The diagnoses are categorized according to various domains, each of which represents an overarching dimension of health or function. For instance, there are diagnoses that pertain to nutrition, comfort, life principles, and sexuality among others (Vera, 2022). In other words, the nursing diagnosis is the problem that the nurse identifies based on the data collected in the preceding step. In the example of the patient diagnosed with coronary artery disease, data that points to the patient’s lack of understanding how to manage the condition through diet and exercise may be diagnosed with deficient knowledge or knowledge deficit.


The third step of the process is planning, and here the nurse formulates a plan of action designed to address the problem identified in the preceding step. The plan of action should be composed of evidence-based interventions. Furthermore, these interventions should be within the scope of practice of the nurse. Also, planning should include goals or objectives. These goals need to be considered SMART; that is, they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. It is also important for the interventions to be the result of collaboration between the patient and the nurse. The concept and pace of progress differ from one patient to another. Hence, it is essential that the nurse allow the patient to contribute to the determination of the goals (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). In the example provided, a nurse may plan to conduct patient education in order to enhance the patient’s knowledge regarding the management of his condition. This may include education on the nature of the condition, the diet that the patient should follow, and routine physical exercises for cardiac patients . Goals for this intervention may include the patient being able to verbalize learning within a specific timeframe.


The fourth stage of the nursing process is implementation. In this stage, the nurse implements the interventions identified in the previous stage. Implementation should be collaborative, which means those involved including the patient itself and their caregivers should work together towards the attainment of goals (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). For example, primary caregivers such as spouses, partners, or children play a role in the regulation of the diet and physical activity of a patient with coronary artery disease. Hence, they should also be included in the education intervention.


The last step of the nursing process is evaluation. In this step, the nurse evaluates the results of the implementation of the intervention. This involves measuring the results against the goals formulated in the previous sections. This step also determines if the problem identified in the diagnosis has been resolved. Like the other steps, evaluation requires critical thinking. Furthermore, the nurse needs to be objective in order to ensure that the evaluation is accurate (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). If the problem has been resolved, then the nursing process for the particular issue can be considered as complete. However, if the evaluation shows that the problem remains, then the process begins again. This is the crucial part, as determining that the problem has not been resolved requires the nurse to identify where the process can be improved (Lynn, 2018). For instance, the plan may be revised to include other interventions. The goals may also be revised to a level that the patient is more capable of achieving. As before, the nurse must begin the process with assessment, as it is the data that will tell if the problem persists in the first place.


The nursing process is an important method nurses use to improve the quality of care provided to patients. The process is generally composed of five steps: assessment, which features data collection; diagnosis, which involves identification of the problem based on the data collected; planning, which is characterized by the formulation of interventions and goals; implementation, which concerns the application of the interventions; and evaluation, which involves determining if the problem identified has been resolved. The simplicity, logic, and scalability of this model make the nursing process a highly useful tool for helping patients and enhancing clinical outlines.

Nursing students are expected to write a lot of papers in school. Aside from research papers, some of the common projects include dissertations, theses, and nursing essays . It is no wonder why nursing students often experience a lot of pressure and stress. If you are drowning in all the coursework, professional writers at CustomEssayMeister are here to help.

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Alligood, M. R. & Tomey, A. M. (2010). Nursing theorists and their work. Mosby Elsevier.

Karimi, H. (2011). Applying nursing process education in workshop framework. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 29(2011), 561-566.

Lynn, P. (2018). Taylor’s clinical nursing skills: A nursing process approach. Wolters Kluwer Health.

Peate, I. (2019). Fundamentals of assessment and care planning for nurses . John Wiley & Sons.

Toney-Butler, T. J. & Thayer, J. M. (2022). Nursing process. StatPearls.

Vera, M. (2022, May 11). Nursing diagnosis guide and list: All you need to know to master diagnosis. Nurseslabs.

Wayne, G. (2022. August 31). The nursing process: A comprehensive guide. Nurseslabs.

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