Nursing Care Plans and Mapping
Guidelines for Clinical Mapping





I. What is it?
    • Concept mapping applied to a client
    • A picture of the care plan, showing various parts and how they relate to one another. For example, the intervention for pain (narcotics) causes another nursing diagnosis (constipation)
    • "Concepts" are those of the nursing process- assessment, nursing diagnosis, goals and outcome criteria, interventions, evaluation plus medical diagnoses, lab data, etc
    • Does not replace the care plan- used differently

    II. Why use it?

    • Measures critical thinking, a way to see and understand a studentís thinking. 
    • Learning requires an active process of thinking and drawing relationships.
    • Learners learn not by memorizing but by organizing, relating, and subsuming concepts into their cognitive structures.
    • Measures the critical thinking process- is the student able to see the whole picture? Are the relationships drawn valid? 
    III. How do you do it? You are to buy a sketch book ( paper that is larger than 8X11) and colored pencils or crayons.

    You map your client and hand in the book to your instructor.

    Over time, your maps will become more inclusive- your sketch book will be proof of your growth in critical thinking.

    To draw the map:
      • The client is the center of the map
      • Include somewhere on the map:
      • Medical diagnosis (RED)
      • Assessment data (signs, symptoms, test results, pertinent history) GREEN
      • Nursing diagnoses (Yellow)
      • Goals and outcome criteria BLUE
      • Nursing interventions ORANGE
      • Evaluation BLACK
      • Show the connections between the parts of the nursing process by drawing connecting lines.
    IV. How is it evaluated?  
      • Does the map include all parts of the nursing process? Is the important assessment data in it? Are the nursing diagnosis a logical link from the assessment? Are goals, outcome criteria and interventions appropriate?
      • How were the connecting lines drawn? Are they logical? Did the student show an understanding of the whole picture?



Please direct general questions or comments about this page to its author: Kim Lubesnick,
Last update 01/20/03