The 5 Steps in the ADPIE Nursing Process
The American Nurses Association (ANA) calls nursing “the glue that holds a patient’s healthcare journey together.”1 As nurses support patients through their healthcare journeys, they rely on ADPIE, a time-tested process used for providing optimum care.
What is ADPIE? Pronounced “add-pie,” the acronym represents the five steps in the nursing process. These are:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these nursing process steps and ADPIE nursing examples.
ADPIE Nursing Process Steps
When you assess a patient, you’re gathering vital information that can help you identify health issues and determine that patient’s physiological, psychological, and emotional state. It’s a necessary first step in patient care and represents the “a” in ADPIE.
Example: In an article on the five steps in the nursing process, the ANA offers this example: “… A nurse’s assessment of a hospitalized patient in pain includes not only the physical causes and manifestations of pain, but the patient’s response—an inability to get out of bed, refusal to eat, withdrawal from family members, anger directed at hospital staff, fear, or request for more pain mediation.”2
During this next step in the ADPIE nursing process, you will review all the information you gathered to make a nursing diagnosis, using the manual of diagnoses from NANDA International .3 “The formulation of a nursing diagnosis by employing clinical judgment assists in the planning and implementation of patient care,” Tammy Toney-Butler and Jennifer Thayer write in their article, “Nursing Process.”3
Example: “The diagnosis reflects not only that the patient is in pain, but that the pain has caused other problems such as anxiety, poor nutrition, and conflict within the family, or has the potential to cause complications—for example, respiratory infection is a potential hazard to an immobilized patient,” the ANA explains. “The diagnosis is the basis for the nurse’s care plan.”2
Once the treatment team agrees on the diagnosis, you will plan a course of treatment that takes into account short- and long-term goals.
Example: “Based on the assessment and diagnosis, the nurse sets measurable and achievable short- and long-range goals for this patient that might include moving from bed to chair at least three times per day; maintaining adequate nutrition by eating smaller, more frequent meals; resolving conflict through counseling; or managing pain through adequate medication,” the ANA says.2
“Assessment data, diagnosis, and goals are written in the patient’s care plan so that nurses as well as other health professionals caring for the patient have access to it.”2
When you’re developing goals in the ADPIE nursing process, they should be SMART, Toney-Butler and Thayer say, using another useful acronym which stands for “specific, measurable or meaningful, achievable or action-oriented, realistic or results-oriented, and timely or time-oriented.”3
Implementation is the “I” of ADPIE. This is when you put the treatment plan into action.
Example: “Nursing care is implemented according to the care plan, so continuity of care for the patient during hospitalization and in preparation for discharge needs to be assured. Care is documented in the patient’s record,” the ANA says.2
Evaluation is the last of the ADPIE nursing process steps. This is when you and the treatment team review the patient’s experience.
Example: “Both the patient’s status and the effectiveness of the nursing care must be continuously evaluated, and the care plan modified as needed,” the ANA article says.2
How Can You Advance Your Nursing Career?
Learning to follow the ADPIE nursing process is just the beginning. For a truly successful nursing career, you’ll want to attend nursing school and earn a degree beyond an RN. An RN is a respected credential, but many of today’s healthcare organizations are expressing a preference for nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.4
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. And when you earn a nursing degree online, you can study on your own schedule, letting you earn a degree while balancing your personal and professional activities.
Walden University offers an online RN to BSN program 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 Walden’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program, you can prepare for even more career opportunities, including becoming a nurse practitioner.
Walden’s nurse practitioner specializations can help prepare you to pursue certification and credentialing. Choose Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care, or Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
Secure your place in Walden’s vibrant online nursing community and elevate patient care—and your nursing career—to the highest levels.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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