13+ Diabetes Mellitus Nursing Care Plans

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


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

Risk for Disturbed Sensory Perception

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Risk for Disturbed Sensory Perception

Risk factors may include

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

  • Maintain usual level of mentation.
  • Recognize and compensate for existing sensory impairments.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Monitor vital signs and mental status. To provide baseline from which to compare abnormal findings.
Call the patient by name, reorient as needed to place, person, and time. Give short explanations, speak slowly and enunciate clearly. Decreases confusion and helps maintain contact with reality.
Schedule and cluster nursing time and interventions. To provide uninterrupted rest periods and promote restful sleep, minimize fatigue and improve cognition.
Keep patient’s routine as consistent as possible. Encourage participation in activities of daily living (ADLs) as able. Helps keep patient in touch with reality and maintain orientation to the environment.
Protect patient from injury by avoiding or limiting the use of restraints as necessary when LOC is impaired. Place bed in low position and pad bed rails if patient is prone to seizures. Disoriented patients are prone to injury, especially at night, and precautions need to be taken as indicated. Seizure precautions need to be taken as appropriate to prevent physical injury, aspiration, and falls.
Evaluate visual acuity as indicated. Retinal edema or detachment, hemorrhage, presence of cataracts or temporary paralysis of extraocular muscles may impair vision, requiring corrective therapy and/or supportive care.
Observe and investigate reports of hyperesthesia, pain, or sensory loss in the feet or legs. Investigate and look for ulcers, reddened areas, pressure points, loss of pedal pulses. Peripheral neuropathies may result in severe discomfort, lack of or distortion of tactile sensation, potentiating risk of dermal injury and impaired balance.
Provide bed cradle. Keep hands and feet warm, avoiding exposure to cool drafts and/or hot water or use of heating pad. Reduces discomfort and potential for dermal injury.
Assist patient with ambulation or position changes. Promotes patient safety, especially when sense of balance is affected.
Monitor laboratory values: blood glucose, serum osmolality, Hb/Hct, BUN/Cr. Imbalances can impair mentation. Note: If fluid is replaced too quickly, excess water may enter brain cells and cause alteration in the level of consciousness (water intoxication).
Carry out prescribed regimen for correcting DKA as indicated. Alteration in thought processes or potential for seizure activity is usually alleviated once hyperosmolar state is corrected.

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. 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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