11 Pneumonia Nursing Care Plans

All you need to know about pneumonia nursing care plans.

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In this guide are pneumonia nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis, nursing interventions and nursing assessment for pneumonia. Nursing interventions for pneumonia and care plan goals for patients with pneumonia include measures to assist in effective coughing, maintain a patent airway, decreasing viscosity and tenaciousness of secretions, and assist in suctioning.

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung parenchyma, associated with alveolar edema and congestion that impair gas exchange. Pneumonia is caused by a bacterial or viral infection that is spread by droplets or by contact and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The prognosis is typically good for people who have normal lungs and adequate host defenses before the onset of pneumonia. Pneumonia is a particular concern in high-risk patients: persons who are very young or very old, people who smoke, bedridden, malnourished, hospitalized, immunocompromised, or exposed to MRSA.

Types of Pneumonia

There are two types of pneumonia: community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), or hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) or also known as nosocomial pneumonia.

Pneumonia may also be classified depending on its location and radiologic appearance. Bronchopneumonia (bronchial pneumonia) involves the terminal bronchioles and alveoli. Interstitial (reticular) pneumonia involves inflammatory response within lung tissue surrounding the air spaces or vascular structures rather than the area passages themselves. Alveolar (or acinar) pneumonia involves fluid accumulation in the lung’s distal air spaces. Necrotizing pneumonia causes the death of a portion of lung tissue surrounded by a viable tissue.

Pneumonia is also classified based on its microbiologic etiology – they can be viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, mycobacterial, mycoplasmal, or rickettsial in origin.

Aspiration pneumonia, another type of pneumonia, results from vomiting and aspiration of gastric or oropharyngeal contents into the trachea and lungs.

Signs and Symptoms

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 plan (NCP) and care management for patients with pneumonia start with an assessment of the patient’ medical history, performing respiratory assessment every four (4) hours, physical examination, and ABG measurements. Supportive interventions include oxygen therapy, suctioning, coughing, deep breathing, adequate hydration, and mechanical ventilation. Other nursing interventions are detailed on the nursing diagnoses in the subsequent sections.

Here are 11 nursing diagnosis common to pneumonia nursing care plans (NCP), they are as follows: 

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Impaired Gas Exchange
  3. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  4. Risk for Infection
  5. Acute Pain
  6. Activity Intolerance
  7. Hyperthermia
  8. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  9. Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  10. Deficient Knowledge
  11. Deficient Fluid Volume
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The NANDA nursing diagnosis Risk for Infection is chosen to prevent the spread of infection.

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Risk for [Spread] of Infection

Risk Factors

The following are the common risk factors:

  • Inadequate primary defenses (decreased ciliary action, stasis of respiratory secretions)
  • Inadequate secondary defenses (presence of existing infection, immunosuppression), chronic disease, malnutrition

Desired Outcomes

Goals and expected outcomes for Risk for Infection secondary to pneumonia.

  • Achieve timely resolution of current infection without complications.
  • Identify interventions to prevent/reduce risk/spread of/secondary infection.

Nursing Interventions and Rationales

The following measures are to prevent the spread of infection. These are the nursing interventions for pneumonia nursing care plans with Risk for Infection nursing diagnosis:

Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assessment
Monitor vital signs closely, especially during initiation of therapy. During this period of time, potentially fatal complications (hypotension, shock) may develop.
Instruct patient concerning the disposition of secretions: raising and expectorating versus swallowing; and reporting changes in color, amount, odor of secretions. Although patient may find expectoration offensive and attempt to limit or avoid it, it is essential that sputum be disposed of in a safe manner. Changes in characteristics of sputum reflect resolution of pneumonia or development of secondary infection.
Assess patient’s immunization status. Immunizations with pneumococcal vaccine and seasonal influenza are used to reduce the risk for developing pneumonia.
Therapeutic Interventions
Demonstrate and encourage good hand washing technique. Effective means of reducing spread or acquisition of infection.
Change position frequently and provide good pulmonary toilet. Promotes expectoration, clearing of infection.
Limit visitors as indicated. Reduces likelihood of exposure to other infectious pathogens.
Institute isolation precautions as individually appropriate. Keep patient away from other patients who are at high risk for developing pneumonia. Dependent on type of infection, response to antibiotics, patient’s general health, and development of complications, isolation techniques may be desired to prevent spread from other infectious processes. Nosocomial pneumonia is at high risk of development for immunocompromised patients, provide careful room assignments when patients are in semiprivate rooms.
Encourage adequate rest balanced with moderate activity. Promote adequate nutritional intake. Facilitates healing process and enhances natural resistance.
Monitor effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy. Signs of improvement in condition should occur within 24–48 hr. Note any changes.
Investigate sudden change in condition, such as increasing chest pain, extra heart sounds, altered sensorium, recurring fever, changes in sputum characteristics. Delayed recovery or increase in severity of symptoms suggests resistance to antibiotics or secondary infection.
Prepare and assist with diagnostic studies as indicated. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FOB) may be done in patients who do not respond rapidly (within 1–3 days) to antimicrobial therapy to clarify diagnosis and therapy needs.
Administer prescribed antimicrobial agents as ordered. To prevent relapse of pneumonia, the patient needs to complete the course of antibiotics as prescribed.
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See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Related Nursing Care Plans

Related nursing diagnoses you can use to craft another pneumonia nursing care plans.

References and Sources

Recommended journals, books, and other interesting materials to help you learn more about Pneumonia Nursing Care Plans:

  • Black, J. M., & Hawks, J. H. (2009). Medical-surgical nursing: Clinical management for positive outcomes (Vol. 1). A. M. Keene (Ed.). Saunders Elsevier. [Link]
  • Dempsey, C. L. (1995). Nursing Home‐Acquired Pneumonia: Outcomes from a Clinical Process Improvement Program. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, 15(1P2), 33S-38S. [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]
  • Head, B. J., Scherb, C. A., Reed, D., Conley, D. M., Weinberg, B., Kozel, M., … & Moorhead, S. (2011). Nursing diagnoses, interventions, and patient outcomes for hospitalized older adults with pneumonia. Research in gerontological nursing4(2), 95-105. [Link]
  • Yoshino, A., Ebihara, T., Ebihara, S., Fuji, H., & Sasaki, H. (2001). Daily oral care and risk factors for pneumonia among elderly nursing home patients. Jama286(18), 2235-2236. [Link]

Originally published January 10, 2010. 

38 COMMENTS

  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.

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  7. I am a Nurning Student year 2 in Tonga,i am very glad to read this information on pneumonia i get alot of knowledge from this page and use it in my daily practice

  8. 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. I JUST LOVE HOW SIMPLIFIED THIS NCP IS AND ITS EVIDENCE BASED,I TRIED TO DO SOME OF THE INTERVENTIONS AND THEY WORKED FOR MY PATIENT,THIS SITE HAS REALLY HELPED ME ALOT IN MY STUDIES AS A STUDENT,THANKS MATT!

  10. 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..

  11. You are Godsent! Thank you for these well done pneumonia nursing care plans! I love how simple and how they’re easy to understand!

  12. Hi I’m Ngcambelo Pinky .I am a student nurse from Durban thank you so much for the article is more helpful to me

  13. Hi there I was writing few things from your this topic into my assignment but I couldn’t write a proper reference about this topic, can you please help me?

  14. Willingston Edward here, I am also a Bachelorof nursing student in the university of Botswana. Just wanna say Thank you.🔥🔥🔥

  15. Hello Vera
    I’m a student nurse at The Aga Khan University in Uganda and this article helps me alot, it’s so simplified and easy to memorise.
    Thank you for the great work you are doing and may God bless you more.

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