Understanding the fundamentals of the nursing process is the first step to a successful nursing career.

A nurse and doctor confer with an elderly male patient.Healthcare is a science. And that’s as true for nursing as it is for any other aspect of medicine—which is why nursing requires not just a desire to care for patients but an understanding of the processes proven to promote optimum care and recovery.

If you’re looking to advance your nursing career, you need to know the processes and procedures of nursing. Of these, ADPIE is one of the most important to learn.

What Is ADPIE?

ADPIE is an acronym representing the five phases of the nursing process. Pronounced “add-pie,” it’s considered standard-of-care for nurses and helps you remain professional and effective. The five phases are:

Assessment
When you first encounter a patient, you will be expected to perform an assessment to identify the patient’s health problem(s) as well as their physiological, psychological, and emotional state. To do this, you will typically conduct an interview and take patient vitals. To make sure the information you collect is easily referenced by others, you will note all parts of your assessment in the patient’s chart.

Diagnosis
Once you’ve completed your assessment, you will take all the gathered information into consideration and diagnose the patient’s condition and medical needs. This doesn’t mean you identify a specific disease or ailment. Rather, your diagnosis will identify a general cause of symptoms (e.g., constipation, hypothermia, anxiety) and/or any risks the patient faces (e.g., shock, stroke, tissue death).

Planning
Once you, any supervising medical staff, and the patient agree on the diagnosis, you will plan a course of treatment that takes into account short- and long-term goals. Most treatment plans will include interventions conducted by the medical staff (e.g., suturing, medication prescription, IV fluids) followed by steps taken by the patient to ensure proper recovery.

Implementation
Implementation is when you put the treatment plan into effect. This typically begins with the medical staff performing any needed medical interventions. Then, the patient follows the plan for optimum recovery. As a nurse, you will be expected to monitor the implementation to ensure the patient is following through. If they aren’t—or if the follow-through is ineffective—you’ll want to reevaluate the plan.

Evaluation
We learn what works and what doesn’t by evaluating what we’ve done previously. As such, evaluation is the last, but in no way least, important step in ADPIE. Once a patient completes their treatment, you and the rest of the medical staff should review the steps taken, determine whether they worked as expected, and identify any problems that can be corrected in the future.

How Else Can You Improve Your Nursing?

Learning to follow ADPIE is just the beginning. For a truly successful nursing career, you’ll want to attend nursing school and earn a degree more advanced than an RN. Why isn’t an RN program enough? Because these days, many healthcare employers want nurses with a college-level nursing degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

The nursing skills of those who hold a BSN degree or higher are so important that the Institute of Medicine has recommended that 80% of the nursing workforce hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing by 2020.* The good news is that you don’t have to drop everything to advance from RN to BSN. Thanks to online nursing programs, you can complete BSN coursework from home. Plus, when you earn a nursing degree online, you can attend classes at whatever time of day works best for you, making it possible to work full time while you complete your nursing program.

Where can you earn a high-quality online nursing degree? One great answer is Walden University. Walden offers an online RN to BSN program specifically designed for working nurses. And you don’t have to stop at a BSN degree. Walden also offers an accelerated RN to MSN online program that makes it possible to go from RN to BSN to MSN. With an MSN degree, you can enjoy even more opportunities in your nursing career, including becoming a nurse practitioner.

Thanks to Walden’s convenient online learning format and its many other advantages—such as an MSN teaching faculty that’s 100% doctorally prepared—nursing students from around the nation regularly choose Walden, making the university the leader in graduate nursing education. It’s a great choice if you want to go from RN to BSN online or from RN to MSN online.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an RN to BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree online and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


*L. Nelson, Report: 80% of Nursing Workforce Should Have a BSN By 2020, Nurse.org, on the internet at http://nurse.org/articles/155/BSN-initiative-80-2020.

†Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP codes 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse); 51.3808 (Nursing Science); 51.3818 (Nursing Practice). Includes 2016 preliminary data.

Walden University’s DNP, MSN, and BSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K St. NW, Suite 750, Washington, D.C. 20001, 1-202-887-6791. CCNE is a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs. For students, accreditation signifies program innovation and continuous self-assessment.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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