Position Statement

The Structure and Development of Syndrome Diagnoses

NANDA International believes that a syndrome, in the context of nursing knowledge, is a clinical judgement concerning a specific cluster of nursing diagnoses that occur simultaneously and are best addressed together and through similar interventions. An example would be NANDA International’s Chronic Pain Syndrome diagnosis

A syndrome nursing diagnosis must include a minimum of two relevant NANDA International approved nursing diagnoses as defining characteristics. An example would be NANDA International’s Post-trauma syndrome diagnosis which includes as defining characteristics several NANDA International nursing diagnoses including Anxiety, Fear, Grieving and Hopelessness but has several other defining characteristics that are not NANDA International nursing diagnoses but without which the syndrome would not be complete.

There is no maximum number of defining characteristics and those that are not NANDA International nursing diagnoses may be drawn from any other evidence-based source.

Approved by the NANDA International Board, 15 June 2015

The Structure of the Nursing Diagnosis Statement When Included in a Care Plan

NANDA International believes that the structure of a Nursing Diagnosis as a statement including the diagnosis label and the related factors as exhibited by defining characteristics is best clinical practice, and may be an effective teaching strategy. The accuracy of the nursing diagnosis is validated when a nurse is able to clearly identify and link to the defining characteristics, related factors and/or risk factors found within the patient’s assessment. While this is recognized as best practice, it may be that some information systems do not provide this opportunity. Nurse leaders and nurse informaticists must work together to ensure that vendor solutions are available that allow the nurse to validate accurate diagnoses through clear identification of the diagnostic statement, related and/or risk factors and defining characteristics.

Updated October 2010 by NANDA International Board of Directors

The Use of Taxonomy II as an Assessment Framework

Nursing assessments provide the starting point for determining nursing diagnoses. It is vital that a recognized nursing assessment framework is used in practice to identify the patient’s* problems, risks and outcomes for enhancing health. NANDA International does not endorse one single assessment method or tool. The use of an evidence-based nursing framework such as Gordon’s Functional Health Pattern Assessment should guide assessment that support nurses in determination of NANDA-I nursing diagnoses. For accurate determination of nursing diagnoses, a useful, evidence-based assessment framework is best practice. *NANDA International defines patient as “individual, family, group or community.”

Updated October 2010 by NANDA International Board of Directors