Nursing Report Example

nursing report example

How to Write Effective Nursing Reports?

The nursing report is an essential tool for ensuring clear and effective communication among healthcare providers. Whether you’re a seasoned nurse or a student just starting, mastering the art of the nursing report can significantly impact patient care and outcomes.

Understanding Nursing Reports

A nursing report summarizes a patient’s health status and care passed from one healthcare provider to another. This report is crucial because it ensures that everyone involved in a patient’s care is on the same page, which is vital for maintaining continuity and quality of care.

What is a Nursing Report?

A nursing report is a detailed account that includes:

  • Patient Information: Basic details like name, age, and medical history.
  • Current Health Status: Information on the patient’s condition at the time of the report, including vital signs and symptoms.
  • Clinical Assessments: Results from tests and examinations.
  • Care Provided: What treatments or interventions have been given, including medications, therapies, and any special care instructions?
  • Outcomes and Responses: How the patient has responded to treatments and any progress or changes in their condition.

Why are Nursing Reports Important?

  1. Ensuring Continuity of Care: By passing on detailed and accurate information, nursing reports help ensure that patient care is consistent and seamless, even as different nurses and healthcare providers come on and off duty.
  2. Enhancing Communication: These reports provide a structured way for nurses to communicate critical patient information to each other and other healthcare team members, reducing the risk of miscommunication.
  3. Improving Patient Safety: Accurate and thorough reports help prevent errors and ensure that patient condition changes are quickly recognized and addressed.
  4. Facilitating Better Patient Management: Healthcare providers can make more informed decisions about a patient’s care plan with all available information.
  5. Legal and Documentation Purposes: Nursing reports also serve as official records that can be referred back to if needed for legal reasons or future medical reference.

Different Types of Nursing Reports

nursing report example 2

Nursing reports are critical to healthcare communication, ensuring all team members are informed about a patient’s condition and care. Let’s examine the different types of nursing reports and what they include.

Shift Reports

Shift reports are given at the beginning and end of each nursing shift to ensure the incoming nurse is fully informed about the patients they will be caring for.

What They Include

  • Patient Information: Name, age, room number, and primary diagnosis.
  • Current Status: Vital signs, any changes in condition, and recent test results.
  • Care Plan: Medications administered, upcoming treatments, and any specific care instructions.
  • Outstanding Issues: Any pending tests, procedures, or essential notes about patient behavior or needs.

Example: “Mr. Jones, age 75, in room 101, admitted for pneumonia. His vitals are stable, with oxygen saturation at 95% on 2L O2. He received his morning antibiotics; the next dose is 6 PM. He needs encouragement to use the incentive spirometer.”

Handoff Reports

Handoff reports are provided when a patient is transferred from one care setting to another, such as from the emergency room to a hospital ward or from one nurse to another at the end of a shift.

What They Include

  • Situation: Briefly describe the current situation, including why the patient is being transferred.
  • Background: Provide relevant medical history and previous treatments.
  • Assessment: Share recent clinical assessments and observations.
  • Recommendation: Suggest any next steps or ongoing care needs.

Example: “Mrs. Garcia, age 82, is being transferred from the ER to the medical ward for further management of heart failure. She has a history of CHF and AFib. Her vitals are stable, and she has been started on Lasix. Monitor her fluid intake and output closely.”

Incident Reports

Incident reports document any unusual or adverse events, such as patient falls, medication errors, or other safety issues.

What They Include

  • Description of the Incident: Detailed account of what happened, including date, time, and location.
  • Patient Involved: Information about the patient affected, including their condition before and after the incident.
  • Immediate Actions Taken: What was done immediately following the incident to ensure the patient’s safety?
  • Follow-Up: Any additional steps taken or recommended to prevent a recurrence.

Example: “Patient Smith, age 67, slipped and fell in the bathroom at 10:30 AM. He was assisted back to bed, and no visible injuries were noted. Their vitals were checked, and he remained stable. A physician was notified, and fall precautions were reinforced.”

Components of a Nursing Report

Creating an effective nursing report involves several vital components. Each part ensures the receiving nurse has a complete and accurate picture of the patient’s condition and care plan.

Patient Information

  1. Start your nursing report with essential patient information. 
  2. Name: The full name of the patient.
  3. Age: The patient’s age.
  4. Medical History: Relevant medical history, including chronic conditions and past surgeries.
  5. Current Condition: A brief description of why the patient is receiving care.

Clinical Assessment

Next, provide a detailed clinical assessment. This section covers:

  1. Vital Signs: Current temperature readings, pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure.
  2. Symptoms: Any symptoms the patient is experiencing, such as pain or shortness of breath.
  3. Recent Tests: Results from recent laboratory tests, imaging, or other diagnostic procedures.

Care Plan and Interventions

Detail the current care plan and any interventions that have been administered. 

  1. Medications: Names, dosages, and times of medications given.
  2. Treatments: Any treatments provided, such as wound care or physical therapy.
  3. Special Instructions: Any special instructions for the patient’s care, such as dietary restrictions or mobility assistance.

Outcomes and Evaluations

Conclude the report by discussing the patient’s responses to the care provided and any evaluations made.

  1. Responses to Interventions: How the patient has responded to medications and treatments.
  2. Progress Made: Any improvements or deteriorations in the patient’s condition.
  3. Changes to the Care Plan: Adjustments made based on the patient’s response, new symptoms, or test results.

Example Nursing Report

Putting it all together, a nursing report should look something like this.

“Patient John Doe, age 65, with a history of chronic heart failure and diabetes, is currently admitted for pneumonia. Vitals are stable: Temp 98.6°F, Pulse 72, Respiration 16, BP 120/80. The patient reports mild chest discomfort and shortness of breath. Chest X-ray shows signs of pneumonia, and blood work indicates elevated white blood cell count. The patient receives antibiotics (Levofloxacin 500mg IV daily) and oxygen therapy at 2L/min via nasal cannula. He is on a low-sodium diet and requires assistance with ambulation due to dizziness. The patient’s oxygen saturation has improved from 90% to 95% on 2L of oxygen. He reports less chest discomfort and is breathing more comfortably. Continue current treatment and reassess in 4 hours.”

Nursing Handoff Report Example

Handoff reports are critical when a patient’s care is transferred from one nurse to another, such as during shift changes. These reports ensure the incoming nurse has all the necessary information to continue providing safe and effective care. The goal is to maintain continuity and avoid any lapses in care that could lead to errors or adverse events.

Nurse Handoff Report Example

It’s essential to be thorough yet concise when preparing a handoff report. 

“Patient Information: Mrs. Garcia, age 82.

Diagnosis: Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

Medications: Metoprolol and Lasix.

Last Dose: Metoprolol 50mg at 1800, Lasix 40mg at 1800.

Vital Signs: Stable but requires frequent blood pressure (BP) checks due to the risk of hypotension from her medications.

Recent Changes: No adverse reactions to medications were noted during the shift.

Special Instructions: Monitor BP closely, especially before administering the next dose of Metoprolol.”

SBAR Nursing Report Example

The SBAR method effectively communicates essential information about a patient’s condition quickly and clearly. SBAR stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation. Here’s a detailed breakdown and example of how to use SBAR for nursing reports.

SBAR Report Example Nurse to Nurse

Using SBAR for nurse-to-nurse communication ensures that critical patient information is effectively communicated during shift changes or patient transfers. Here’s another example focusing on nurse-to-nurse communication:

Situation: “Mrs. Thompson, age 62, was admitted for exacerbation of COPD.”

Background: “She has a long history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and was brought in with severe shortness of breath. She’s been on BiPAP since admission.”

Assessment: “Her breathing has improved with BiPAP, but she still has occasional episodes of dyspnea. Oxygen saturation is 92% on BiPAP, and her blood gases are within acceptable ranges.”

Recommendation: “Continue BiPAP therapy, monitor her oxygen saturation closely, and reassess her blood gases in 4 hours. Consider consulting respiratory therapy if her condition does not improve.”

Incident Reports in Nursing

Incident reports are crucial in healthcare settings. They document any unusual events or errors that could impact patient safety or the quality of care. These reports help identify and address issues to prevent future occurrences.

Nursing Incident Report Example

Scenario: A patient falls while trying to get out of bed unassisted.

Date/Time: May 21, 2024, 10:30 AM

Location: Room 202, Medical Ward

Patient Information: John Doe, age 70, admitted for pneumonia

Description of Incident: “Patient attempted to get out of bed without assistance and fell. He was found on the floor beside the bed.”

Immediate Actions Taken: “I assisted the patient to bed and assessed for injuries. No visible injuries were noted. Vital signs were checked and stable. The physician was notified.”

Follow-Up Actions: “A CT scan was ordered to rule out a head injury. Fall precautions were reinforced. The patient and family were educated on the importance of calling for assistance.”

End of Shift Report Nursing Examples

End-of-shift reports are crucial for ensuring seamless transitions between nursing shifts. They provide the incoming nurse with a comprehensive overview of each patient’s condition and ongoing care needs. Here’s how to effectively write these reports.

Example: Diabetic Patient

Patient Information: Mr. Black, age 60, Room 203.

Current Condition: Diabetic management. Blood sugar levels have been stable throughout the shift.

Medications: Insulin was administered as scheduled. There are no signs of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. The last blood sugar reading was 110 mg/dL before dinner.

Treatments and Procedures: Blood sugar levels are regularly monitored. The patient follows a diabetic diet and has been educated on managing his condition.

Outstanding Issues: Ensure the next insulin dose is given at the scheduled time.

Recommendations: Continue regular blood sugar monitoring and support dietary management as needed.

Nursing Report Sheets: Essential Tools for Effective Communication

Nursing report sheets facilitate transparent and organized communication between healthcare professionals. They document essential patient information, ensuring nothing is overlooked during handoffs or shifts.

Examples of Nursing Report Sheets

There are various types of nursing report sheets, each designed to serve different purposes:

  1. Patient Summary Sheets: Provide a comprehensive overview of each patient’s condition, including medical history, current diagnosis, vital signs, and care plan.
  2. Medication Administration Records (MAR): Document details of medications administered to patients, including drug name, dosage, route, and time of administration.
  3. Progress Notes: Record ongoing assessments, interventions, and changes in the patient’s condition or response to treatment.

Writing Nursing Reports: A Step-by-Step Guide

Nursing reports are vital documents that summarize patient information and care interventions. 

  1. Start with Patient Information

Begin your nursing report by providing essential details about the patient.

Name: Full name of the patient.

Age: Age of the patient.

Diagnosis: Main reason for hospitalization or medical condition.

  1. Describe Current Condition

Next, describe the patient’s current health status.

Vital Signs: Include temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation.

Symptoms: Note any complaints or symptoms reported by the patient.

Recent Changes: Highlight any significant changes since the last report.

  1. Document Interventions and Treatments

Detail the medications administered and treatments provided during the shift.

Medications: List all medications given, including dosage, route, and time.

Procedures: Document procedures, such as wound care, injections, or IV therapy.

Therapies: Include therapies like physical therapy or respiratory treatments.

  1. Report Patient Outcomes

Conclude your nursing report by summarizing the patient’s response to care.

Improvements: Note any positive changes in the patient’s condition.

Concerns: Mention any ongoing issues or areas of concern.

Recommendations: Provide recommendations for further care or interventions.

How to Write a Student Nurse Report

Writing comprehensive reports is essential for learning and professional development as a student nurse. Here’s how to approach it:

  • Follow Guidelines: Adhere to the format and requirements provided by your school or clinical instructor.
  • Be Detailed: Include all relevant information about the patient’s condition, interventions, and outcomes.
  • Seek Feedback: Request instructor feedback to improve your report writing skills and clinical judgment.

How to write a student nurse report?

When writing a student nurse report, several vital steps must be followed to ensure effectiveness and professionalism.

  1. Follow Institution’s Format

First and foremost, adhere to your institution’s specific format or template for nursing reports. This format typically includes sections for patient demographics, assessment data, care interventions, and outcomes. Pay close attention to any guidelines your clinical instructors or program coordinators provided.

  1. Be Detailed in Describing Patient Care

Provide a thorough and detailed description of the patient’s care throughout your shift. Include relevant information such as.

Patient Demographics: Name, age, gender, and relevant medical history.

Assessment Data: Vital signs, physical assessments, and changes in patient condition.

Care Interventions: Medications were administered, treatments were performed, and nursing interventions were implemented.

Collaboration with Healthcare Team: Any consultations with other healthcare professionals or interdisciplinary team members.

  1. Cover All Aspects of Assessment, Interventions, and Outcomes

Ensure that your report covers all aspects of patient assessment, interventions, and outcomes. This includes:

  • Assessment: Document the patient’s baseline status, any abnormalities or concerns identified during your evaluation, and changes observed throughout your shift.
  • Interventions: Describe the nursing interventions you implemented to address the patient’s needs, including medication administration, wound care, patient education, and emotional support.
  • Outcomes: Discuss the outcomes of your interventions, noting any improvements or changes in the patient’s condition. Include objective data whenever possible, such as changes in vital signs or laboratory values.

How to write a patient report example?

Writing a patient report example involves several essential steps to ensure clarity, accuracy, and effectiveness.

  1. Start with Basic Patient Information
  2. Describe Current Condition and Medical History
  3. Detail Interventions Provided
  4. Include Patient Response to Treatment
  5. Conclude with Follow-Up Care Required
  6. Seek Feedback for Improvement

By following these guidelines, you can create patient reports that effectively communicate the patient’s condition, treatment, and follow-up care needs to other healthcare providers and ensure continuity of care.


Nursing reports are vital for patient care, ensuring seamless communication and continuity. Nurses can provide high-quality care and improve patient outcomes by understanding the components and practicing effective reporting techniques. Remember, a well-prepared report can make all the difference in patient management.



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