8+ Pneumonia Nursing Care Plans

8+ Pneumonia Nursing Care Plans

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung parenchyma, associated with alveolar edema and congestion that impair gas exchange. The prognosis is typically good for people who have normal lungs and adequate host defenses before the onset of pneumonia. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The main symptoms of pneumonia are coughing, sputum production, pleuritic chest pain, shaking chills, rapid shallow breathing, fever, and shortness of breath. If left untreated, pneumonia could complicate to hypoxemia, respiratory failure, pleural effusion, empyema, lung abscess, and bacteremia.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning (NCP) goals for patients with pneumonia includes supportive measures like humidified oxygen therapy for hypoxemia, mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure, a high calorie diet and adequate fluid intake. Interventions should include bed rest and analgesic to relieve pleuritic chest pain.

Here are eight (8) pneumonia nursing care plans (NCP):

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Impaired Gas Exchange
  3. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  4. Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  5. Acute Pain
  6. Activity Intolerance
  7. Risk for Infection
  8. Deficient Knowledge
  9. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  10. Hyperthermia
  11. Other Nursing Care Plans 

Ineffective Airway Clearance: Inability to clear secretions or obstructions from the respiratory tract to maintain a clear airway.

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Ineffective Airway Clearance

May be related to

  • Tracheal bronchial inflammation, edema formation, increased sputum production
  • Pleuritic pain
  • Decreased energy, fatigue

Possibly evidenced by

  • Changes in rate, depth of respirations
  • Abnormal breath sounds, use of accessory muscles
  • Dyspnea, cyanosis
  • Cough, effective or ineffective; with/without sputum production

Desired Outcomes

  • Identify/demonstrate behaviors to achieve airway clearance.
  • Display patent airway with breath sounds clearing; absence of dyspnea, cyanosis.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the rate and depth of respirations and chest movement.Tachypnea, shallow respirations, and asymmetric chest movement are frequently present because of discomfort of moving chest wall and/or fluid in lung.
Auscultate lung fields, noting areas of decreased or absent airflow and adventitious breath sounds: crackles, wheezes.Decreased airflow occurs in areas with consolidated fluid. Bronchial breath sounds can also occur in these consolidated areas. Crackles, rhonchi, and wheezes are heard on inspiration and/or expiration in response to fluid accumulation, thick secretions, and airway spasms and obstruction.
Elevate head of bed, change position frequently.Doing so would lower the diaphragm and promote chest expansion, aeration of lung segments, mobilization and expectoration of secretions.
Teach and assist patient with proper deep-breathing exercises. Demonstrate proper splinting of chest and effective coughing while in upright position. Encourage him to do so often.Deep breathing exercises facilitates maximum expansion of the lungs and smaller airways. Coughing is a reflex and a natural self-cleaning mechanism that assists the cilia to maintain patent airways. Splinting reduces chest discomfort and an upright position favors deeper and more forceful cough effort.
Suction as indicated: frequent coughing, adventitious breath sounds, desaturation related to airway secretions.Stimulates cough or mechanically clears airway in patient who is unable to do so because of ineffective cough or decreased level of consciousness.
Force fluids to at least 3000 mL/day (unless contraindicated, as in heart failure). Offer warm, rather than cold, fluids.Fluids, especially warm liquids, aid in mobilization and expectoration of secretions.
Assist and monitor effects of nebulizer treatment and other respiratory physiotherapy: incentive spirometer, IPPB, percussion, postural drainage. Perform treatments between meals and limit fluids when appropriate.Nebulizers and other respiratory therapy facilitates liquefaction and expectoration of secretions. Postural drainage may not be as effective in interstitial pneumonias or those causing alveolar exudate or destruction. Coordination of treatments and oral intake reduces likelihood of vomiting with coughing, expectorations.
Administer medications as indicated: mucolytics, expectorants, bronchodilators, analgesics.Aids in reduction of bronchospasm and mobilization of secretions. Analgesics are given to improve cough effort by reducing discomfort, but should be used cautiously because they can decrease cough effort and depress respirations.
Provide supplemental fluids: IV.Room humidification has been found to provide minimal benefit and is thought to increase the risk of transmitting infection.
Monitor serial chest x-rays, ABGs, pulse oximetry readings.Followers progress and effects of the disease process, therapeutic regimen, and may facilitate necessary alterations in therapy.
Assist with bronchoscopy and/or thoracentesis, if indicated.Occasionally needed to remove mucous plugs, drain purulent secretions, and/or prevent atelectasis.
Urge all bedridden and postoperative patients to perform deep breathing and coughing exercises frequently.To promote full aeration and drainage of secretions.

See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Respiratory Care Plans

Care plans about respiratory system disorders:

Further Reading

Recommended books and resources:

  1. Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes
  2. Nurse's Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales
  3. Nursing Diagnoses 2015-17: Definitions and Classification
  4. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V-TR)
  5. Manual of Psychiatric Nursing Care Planning
  6. Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans
  7. Delmar's Maternal-Infant Nursing Care Plans, 2nd Edition
  8. Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans


  1. I am a nurse in Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia. I had read this article website. I am very interested in this article because it is understandable and easy to remember,and it can help me use it to improve my knowledge.And also I can take this article to teach and present in my class and my colleagues.

  2. Am a student nurse at The Nairobi women’s Hospital Medical Training college i came across this website yesterday and its just wonderful and i really liked it ,its simple and easy to understand

  3. I am a nursing student at the University of Eastern Africa,Eldoret Kenya.This article is one of the best that explains the Nursing care plan.it has explained very well the nursing process.

  4. Hello, I am Reta Anggita. I am a student of bachelor nursing in University of Indonesia :). I am so helped by this article :)

  5. Hi. I am a Nursing student in Florida, USA. Doing a concept map on pneumonia and this greatly assisted me. Thank you.

  6. hi…….am moha arab diz article waz most intresting 1 i eva come acroos it……….i cn sai it ita interesting kudoz yuh pipo

  7. Thank you for this wonderful website. Currently, I am a 2nd year nursing student at San Beda College. This article is really helpful to me because I duty in the OB Ward and one of my patient has Pneumonia by the CXR. Thank you again! PAX!


  9. Was introduced to this site, and its outstanding I must say. Well structured to the core for good understanding when readin. Grateful, thanks a million..


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here