13+ Diabetes Mellitus Nursing Care Plans

What are the nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for diabetes mellitus (DM)?

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In this nursing care plan guide are 13 nursing diagnosis for Diabetes Mellitus. Learn about the nursing interventions, goals, and nursing assessment for Diabetes Mellitus.

What is Diabetes Mellitus? 

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease characterized by insufficient production of insulin in the pancreas or when the body cannot efficiently use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the bloodstream (hyperglycemia). It is characterized by disturbances in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. Sustained hyperglycemia has been shown to affect almost all tissues in the body and is associated with significant complications of multiple organ systems, including the eyes, nerves, kidneys, and blood vessels.

Diabetes mellitus has a few types: 

  • Type 1 diabetes is characterized by destruction of the pancreatic beta cells.
  • Types 2 diabetes involves insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion.
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus is when a pregnant woman experiences any degree of glucose intolerance with the onset of pregnancy.

Nursing Care Plans for Diabetes Mellitus

Nursing care planning goals for patients with diabetes include effective treatment to normalize blood glucose and decrease complications using insulin replacement, balanced diet, and exercise. The nurse should stress the importance of complying with the prescribed treatment program. Tailor your teaching to the patient’s needs, abilities, and developmental stage. Stress the effect of blood glucose control on long-term health.

Here are 13 nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnoses for diabetes mellitus (DM):

  1. Risk for Unstable Blood Glucose
  2. Deficient Knowledge
  3. Risk for Infection
  4. Risk for Disturbed Sensory Perception
  5. Powerlessness
  6. Risk for Ineffective Therapeutic Regimen Management
  7. Risk for Injury
  8. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  9. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  10. Fatigue
  11. Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity
  12. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans
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Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity

Nursing Diagnosis

Risk factors

  • Decreased circulation and sensation caused by peripheral neuropathy and arterial obstruction.

Possibly evidenced by

  • [Not applicable for risk diagnosis. A risk diagnosis is not evidenced by signs and symptoms, as the problem has not occurred and nursing interventions are directed at prevention.]

Desired outcomes

  • Patient’s skin on legs and feet remains intact while the patient is hospitalized.
  • Patient will demonstrate proper foot care.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assess integrity of the skin. Assess knee and deep tendon reflexes and proprioception. These are assessments for neuropathy. Skin on lower extremity pressure points is at great risk for ulceration.
Use foot cradle on the bed. Use space boots on ulcerated heels, elbow protectors, and pressure-relief mattresses. To prevent pressure on pressure-sensitive points.
Wash feet daily with mild soap and warm water. Check water temperature before immersing feet in the water. Decreased sensation increases the risk for burns.
Inspect feet daily for erythema or trauma. These are signs that the skin needs preventive care.
Change socks or stockings daily. Encourage the patient to wear white cotton socks. To prevent infection from moisture. White fabric enables easy visualization of blood or exudates.
Use gentle moisturizers on the feet. Moisturizers soften and lubricate dry skin, preventing skin cracking.
Cut toenails straight across after softening toenails with a bath. This action prevents ingrown toenails, which could cause infection.
The patient should not walk barefoot. This is a high risk for trauma and may result in ulceration and infection.
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References and Sources

References and recommended sources for this care plan guide for Diabetes Mellitus:

  • Ackley, B. J. (2008). Evidence-based nursing care guidelines: Medical-surgical interventions. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  • Black, J. M., & Hawks, J. H. (2009). Medical-surgical nursing: Clinical management for positive outcomes (Vol. 1). A. M. Keene (Ed.). Saunders Elsevier. [Link]
  • Brunner, L. S., & Suddarth, D. S. (2004). Medical surgical nursing (Vol. 2123). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. [Link]
  • Doenges, M. E., Moorhouse, M. F., & Murr, A. C. (2016). Nurse’s pocket guide: Diagnoses, prioritized interventions, and rationales. FA Davis. [Link]
  • Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2016). Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes. Elsevier Health Sciences. [Link]
  • Rosenberg, C. S. (1990). Wound healing in the patient with diabetes mellitus. The Nursing clinics of North America25(1), 247-261. [Link]
  • White, P. (1974). Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy. Clinics in perinatology1(2), 331-348.

See Also

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m a registered diploma(Level 300) student nurse in Ghana and is my ambition to equipped myself with your simple standard education. Please I want both medical and surgical nursing question.

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