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Nursing Care of Inpatients With Borderline Personality Disorder


  • Ann Bland, PhD, APRN, BC, is Associate Professor, Department of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing, Eastern Kentucky University; Georgana Tudor, MSN, RN, is an alumna of Eastern Kentucky University, is a family nurse practitioner; and Deborah McNeil Whitehouse, DSN, APRN, BC, is Associate Dean, College of Health Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY.

Author contact: with a copy to the Editor:


TOPIC. This paper reviews the current literature on the nursing care of inpatients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Information is included about the background and various features of BPD, and recent conceptualizations and predicted outcomes for BPD patients are provided. The effect of caring for patients with BPD on the nursing staff is discussed.

CONCLUSIONS. With proper education, support, and clinical supervision, the difficulties of caring for patients with BPD for the nursing staff can be reduced, and beneficial outcomes can be achieved for the staff and patients.

NURSING IMPLICATIONS. Patients with BPD can impact the entire multidisciplinary team. Understanding the dynamics of patients with BPD helps the staff to develop strategies to avoid splitting, acting-out behaviors, and negative impact on other patients and staff.