NANDA Nursing Diagnosis

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis: What is a Nursing Diagnosis? 

Nursing diagnosis refers to a clinical judgement of a human being’s response to normal life processes or the susceptibility of the response to another person, group or community. It provides a baseline for nurses to choose nursing interventions and drive specific outcomes that make the nurse liable at every step. Nursing diagnoses are dependent on data sourced from nursing assessments that create a proper care plan for the patient.

Purposes of Nursing Diagnosis

The purpose of nursing diagnosis is to guide nursing interventions as per the identified priorities. Nursing diagnosis plays a vital role in helping nurses determine how a given patient responds to an actual life process or a critical life-threatening process. It provides a unifying language that offers two-way communication between nurses and health professionals.

Difference between Medical and Nursing Diagnoses

Nursing diagnosis refers to the second step of any nursing process that aligns itself with how nurses give meaning to data collected during the assessment of a patient. The meaning follows the NANDA-1 that has been approved by the nursing council. It refers to accurately determining the diagnosis based on the classification that has been accepted by NANDA.

It is focused on care and takes account of the precision in taking action on a given condition or disease. A medical diagnosis focuses on the underlying disease or condition affecting the patient. Advanced medical professionals are charged with the responsibility of dealing with the specific disease by giving the correct treatment that leads to a cure.

NANDA International (NANDA-I)

North American Nursing Diagnosis Association is an organization charged with the responsibility of defining and incorporating nursing diagnoses across the world. Mary Ann and Kristine Gebbie are some of the pioneers of NANDA. Conferences held between 1975 and 1980 led to the development of NANDA which was inaugurated in 1982. In 2002 the group was recognized and expanded to other parts of the world. New nursing diagnoses are reviewed and refined every year and entered into the existing database for application and learning purposes by nurses.

History and Evolution of Nursing Diagnosis

The growth of the nursing profession and new technology led to the desire to have standard nursing language for diagnosis. World-war II came to an end leading to the demand for nurses to help physicians with diagnosis. Nurses were elevated to another status that had value apart from the traditional physicians.

The nursing diagnosis had to be reshaped to direct nurses in the clinical practice and identify the differences in medical diagnoses that were left to advanced medical professionals. Louise MacManus and Virginia Fry introduced the nursing diagnosis terms that were to be used by nurses in 1953. Nursing was identified as an independent domain through a legislation act by New York State Nurse Practice Act.

Mary Ann and Kristine Gebbie are some of the pioneers of NANDA. Conferences held between 1975 and 1980 led to the development of NANDA which was inaugurated in 1982. In 2002 the group was recognized and expanded to other parts of the world.

New nursing diagnoses are reviewed and refined every year and entered into the existing database for application and learning purposes by nurses. Today in 2020 the organization has approved more than 244 diagnoses for nurses to use in their clinical practice.

 Classification of Nursing Diagnoses (Taxonomy II)

The classification of nursing diagnosis adheres to Taxonomy II which defines how the diagnosis is listed and classified. Taxonomy II was borrowed from the work of Dr. Mary Gordon who pioneered the functional health patterns assessment framework. T

he taxonomy has three main levels: domains made of thirteen phases, fourteen seven classes and nursing diagnosis. Nursing diagnoses deviate from the functional health patterns assessment framework and follow a code made of seven axes. The axes include time, diagnosis tic concept, descriptor, topology, age and health status.

Nursing Process

The nursing process is made up of five main steps: assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. The nursing diagnosis is the second step that involves the nurse in thinking and application of nursing diagnosis definitions. Nurses determine the behaviour, characteristics, and factors related to the diagnoses and then assign the best interventions.


Assessment refers to the step taken by nurses when a patient arrives at their desk. Nurses are required to perform a detailed examination or assessment to determine the patient’s underlying health problems. One further analyzes the emotional, psychological and physiological state of the patient. Nurses use interviews, observation and physical examination to source information from the patient.


The nurses used the assessment data to determine the problem with the patient. Nurses use all the data collected and use it to diagnose the condition that needs medical attention. One has to make a judgement on the problem affecting the patient which can be one or more diagnosis.


Nurses and advanced medical professionals have to agree on the diagnosis and determine how best to deal with or manage the issue. The treatment uses short and long-term goals that have to come out at the end of the treatment.


The fourth step of the nursing process requires the nurses to put the management plan into action. Medical professionals are involved in setting up interventions that should be detailed and specific to the goals or outcomes. Other actions linked to the nursing care plan include monitoring of changes and educating the patient.


The last step is to determine if the nursing intervention used to deal with the issue has been dealt with by checking if the patient exhibits the expected outcomes.  The patient must show signs that he or she has improved, stable or worsened after the intervention. If the patient falls in the third category then the intervention failed.

Types of Nursing Diagnoses

There are four types of nursing diagnosis according to NANDA: problem-focused, risk nursing diagnosis, health promotion diagnosis and syndrome diagnosis.

Problem-Focused Nursing Diagnosis

It is a diagnosis in which the problem presents itself during nursing assessment. The diagnosis is based on the patient presenting signs and symptoms associated with the condition. It is made up of three parts nursing diagnosis, associated factors and defined characteristics.

Risk Nursing Diagnosis

Risk diagnosis refers to making a clinical judgement where one has not identified the problem at hand but there are risk factors that can result in a problem. A patient is more likely to develop the problem compared to others in the group. It is made up of risk diagnostic label and risk factors. For example elderly patients are more likely to suffer from risk injury.

Health Promotion Diagnosis

Health promotion or wellness diagnosis is focused on improving a person, family unit or community to a desired level of wellness. One makes a diagnosis to improve the health status of the patient or increase the level of wellness. It is made of one part statement. For example readiness for enhanced family coping.

Syndrome Diagnosis

Syndrome diagnosis refers to making a clinical judgement based on a cluster of a presenting problem. Are predictable due to occurring events and consist of one statement. For example post trauma syndrome.

Possible Nursing Diagnosis

Possible nursing diagnosis refer to statements that give a description of a potential problem that requires more data to confirm the presence of that problem. Nurses use possible nursing diagnosis to communicate with other medical professionals on the presence of a problem but more information is needed to confirm or rule out the problem.  Example possible respiratory condition.

Components of a Nursing Diagnosis

Nursing diagnosis are made up of three main components: problem and definition, etiology and defined characteristics.

  • Problem and Definition

The problem gives a description of the patient underlying issue or response that can be tackled using nursing therapy. The diagnostic label is made up of a qualifier and focus what is being diagnosed. Qualifier are attached to the diagnostic labels to derive more meaning.

  • Etiology

Etiology refers to the risk factors thus can be defined as key components of nursing diagnosis that are label that identify probable cause of a health problem. It gives direction on how to apply the nursing therapy. The nursing interventions target the etiological factors so that it removes the cause the identified diagnosis.

  • Defining Characteristics

The signs and symptoms that are associated with or linked to a specific diagnostic label. Actual diagnosis – characteristics of the identified signs and symptoms of the patient while risk diagnosis the signs and symptoms are not present thus the factors make the patient susceptible to the issue.

  • The Diagnostic Process

The diagnostic process has three main parts data analysis, identification of health problems and formulation of diagnostic statements.

  • Analyzing Data

This process involves comparing the client’s data with existing standards, clustering and identifying any discrepancies.

  • Identifying Health Problems, Risks, and Strengths

This process involves making key decisions after analyzing the data. Nurses engage the patient in identifying the problems, and support depending on the outcome of the diagnosis. One has to determine if the problem is a nursing diagnosis or a medical diagnosis.

  • Formulating Diagnostic Statements

This process involves the creation of the diagnostic statements marking the end of the diagnostic process. The statements can be used to yield a nursing intervention or shared with advanced medical professionals.

How to Write a Nursing Diagnosis?

Nurses are required to give a description of the health status of a person and outline some of the factors that might have contributed to the condition. One describes the diagnosis in form of three statements one-part, two part and three part diagnosis using the PES format.

  • One-Part Nursing Diagnosis Statement

This type of statement is written according to the associated factors and link to the problem. One desires to achieve a desired point of wellness. Example rape trauma syndrome.

  • Two-Part Nursing Diagnosis Statement

This statement have two parts to as a diagnosis. The diagnostic label and validation for the risk nursing diagnosis. It is used when there no signs and symptoms and a third part cannot exist. For example risk of injury associated with abnormal blood outline.

  • Three-part Nursing Diagnosis Statement

Detonated by an actual nursing diagnosis, made up of diagnostic label, signs and symptoms and contributing factors. It also known as PES format –problem, etiology and signs and symptoms. Acute pain in a case of hypertension is evidenced by a persistent throb in the head and sleepiness, patient reports not sleeping and changes appetite. Others can have nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision and nick stiffness. The basic formats can change to have vary using secondary factors that divided etiology.

Nursing List

  • Activity intolerance- NANDA defines activity intolerance as the inadequate psychological energy to endure and complete normal daily activities.
  • Acute pain – NANDA defines acute pain as an emotional experience combined with an unpleasant sensory feeling that can occur from actual tissue damage on the body(Kurucová, 2018). The experience moves from a slow onset to a mild intensity and finally to a severe intensity.
  • Risk for decreased cardiac output – NANDA defines risk for decreased cardiac output as inadequate blood that has been pumped by the heart in order to meet the metabolic requirements that are in demand by the body.
  • Ineffective coping – NANDA defines ineffective coping as the ability to have a valid appraisal of environmental stressors, poor choices in practice response and inability to use accessible resources. It is evidenced by a patient’s inability to cope with normal activities and asks for help.

Imbalanced body requirements -NANDA defines imbalanced body requirements as the intake of human nutrients that are in excess of metabolic needs.

  • Chronic confusion – it is an irreversible condition in which one fails to recognize environmental stimuli.


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