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NANDA Structure

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How to Write a NANDA Nursing Diagnosis

NANDA Structure

NANDA-Panda Structure
All healthcare professions use unique words and taxonomy to describe their delivery of care to patients. NANDA-International (NANDA-I) has long collected evidence-based nursing terminology so nurses of all disciplines can functionally communicate with each other and with other healthcare professionals. Nursing diagnoses are pertinent to describe the clinical judgment a nurse forms about an individual, family, and community responses to actual and potential health problems or life processes. Furthermore, they found that the selection of nursing interventions for achievable outcomes benefits both nurse and patient.
NANDA-International (NANDA-I)
NANDA-Panda with International-globe

NANDA-I develops, refines and promotes terminology reflective of the nursing profession. It is a long-standing organization dedicated to promoting the nursing profession through interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary communication.

Nursing Diagnoses
Nurse and Diagnostic-computer

Nursing diagnoses differ from other profession’s diagnoses, such as medical diagnoses, due to the nature of how they are created and used. First, they are founded on evidence-based nursing practice and patient oriented outcomes. Second, they are oriented specifically to communicate the nursing professional’s clinical judgement about an individual or population’s response to actual or potential health problems or life processes. Third, they provide the basis for the selection of nursing interventions to achieve outcomes accountable to the caring professional nurse.

Problem and Definition
Problem-cube and Dictionary

Nursing diagnoses are made of three components: problem statement,
the etiology/related factors, and defining characteristics/risk factors. The problem statement pertains to the patient’s current health problem and needed nursing interventions.

E.T. Causing the Problem

Nursing diagnoses are made of three components: problem statement,
the etiology/related factors, risk factors and defining characteristics. The etiology, or related factors, identifies probable causes of the health problem, and/or the conditions involved in the development of the problem.

Defining Characteristics

Defining characteristics are the groups of signs and symptoms that indicate the presence of a particular diagnostic label. An example of a written nursing diagnosis using all three components is: “Ineffective airway clearance (problem statement) related to bronchial airway inflammation (etiology/related factor) as evidenced by coarse rhonchi to bilateral apices heard on auscultation (defining characteristics).”

Risk Factors
Game of Risk

Nursing diagnoses are made of three components: problem statement,
the etiology/related factors, and defining characteristics/risk factors. Risk factors can be used in place of defining characteristics and encompass the patient’s vulnerability toward their health problem. An example would be something such as “risk for infection as evidenced impaired skin integrity.


NANDA-I currently maintains 13 domains and 47 classes to organize the taxonomy of nursing diagnoses. Examples of domains include health promotion, nutrition, elimination and exchange and activity/rest. Within a domain are individual classes, and examples of these under the Nutrition domain include: ingestion, digestion, absorption, metabolism and hydration. Specific nursing diagnoses fall under the class organization within the domain. An example includes: “Ineffective Breastfeeding (nursing diagnosis) within ingestion (class), within nutrition (domain).”


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