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Nursing Diagnosis: Is It Time for a New Definition?


  • doi: 10.1111/j.1744-618X.2007.00073.x

  • T. Heather Herdman, PhD, RN, is the President of NANDA International, and Director of Nursing, Research & Patient Safety of Hoana Medical, Inc.

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PURPOSE. The Diagnosis Development Committee (DDC) of NANDA International frequently receives proposed “physiologic” and “surveillance diagnosis” submissions that may not meet the current definition of nursing diagnosis (NANDA, 2007, p. 332). There has been a request for a vote on newly proposed definitions of nursing diagnosis, risk diagnosis, and syndromes. The purpose of this article is to provide information which enables members and interested nurses to continue the dialogue and to share their thoughts and also to consider the thoughts and information generated by the participants in the NANDA-I interest survey on the definition of nursing diagnoses.

DATA SOURCES. An electronic survey of the current NANDA-I definitions, and potential changes to those definitions, was distributed via the NANDA-I Web site. This article summarizes the overall findings of that survey and provides an overview of commentary received from the 269 participants.

CONCLUSIONS. It is necessary to continue the dialogue on this important decision and to provide a mechanism for input from members and interested nurses before reaching any conclusions on this subject.

NURSING IMPLICATIONS. NANDA-I has been recognized as the leader in the development and implementation of nursing diagnoses and must act responsibly in assessing the changing and emerging trends in nursing practice and in responding to these trends.