AKI Nursing Care Plan

Manage and create effective acute kidney injury nursing care plans through this guide and the easy-to-use and download care plan template!

By Harriet Murray on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is an AKI Nursing Care Plan Template?

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), or Acute Renal Failure (ARF), refers to a sudden and rapid decline in kidney function, leading to a loss of the organ's ability to filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood. It's a critical condition that can develop within hours or days and often presents in critically ill patients. 

AKI can occur due to various reasons, including dehydration, severe infections, medication toxicity, reduced blood flow to the kidneys, or underlying health conditions, and can have a detrimental effect on other organs should it not be treated efficiently and quickly.

In the conventional classification, AKI is typically categorized into three main types. Prerenal AKI is an adaptive reaction to severe volume depletion and low blood pressure, affecting structurally intact nephrons. The second type is Intrinsic AKI, triggered by cytotoxic, ischemic, or inflammatory injuries to the kidney, leading to both structural and functional impairments. Lastly, Postrenal AKI arises due to an obstruction in the urinary passage.

AKI usually requires hospitalization, yet the majority of patients who experience this are usually already hospitalized for other health issues. In serious cases where dialysis is required to assist with kidney functioning, hospitalization may be extended. The focus lies on what is causing AKI rather than the condition itself to effectively treat all symptoms and complications and allow the kidneys to heal. 

Patients who have had AKI in the past have an increased risk of developing other health complications or sustaining another AKI in the future. With every kidney injury or renal failure, the chances of developing kidney disease or failure increase.

Instigating an effective nursing care plan that helps prevent the development of other health issues and lowers the chance of redeveloping AKI is paramount. Careful planning and strong foundations in community care and patient education and involvement is key. 

Printable AKI Nursing Care Plan

Download this AKI Nursing Care Plan to manage and address the specific needs of patients experiencing or at risk of AKI.

How does it work?

Step One: Gather your resources

AKI nursing care plans are a valuable resource and essential to keep on hand. Make sure that you have a copy of the free printable PDF when the need arises by either clicking the “Download Template” or “Use Template” button or by searching “AKI nursing care plan” on Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or app.

Step Two: Collate essential information

Once the patient has been diagnosed and assessed for a decrease in kidney function, utilizing the AKI nursing care plan template to ensure all goals of care are met is both seamless and easily accessible to relevant parties via Carepatron's centralized workspace.

Assessment, symptom management, and interventions can be collated within the single care plan and safely stored on a single database. The care plan allows for individualized treatment options. It acts as a scaffolding to ensure goals of care are met, and the next steps are recorded for future reference or distribution to other healthcare specialists who are part of the patient's care team. 

Step Three: Store the chart securely

After reviewing the AKI nursing care plan and creating a viable and individualized plan for the patient, you need to secure the plan so that access is only granted to relevant parties. 

Ensure this through Carepatrons HIPAA-compliant free patient records software. Here, all relevant medical records can be safely stored and collated for ease and security. 

AKI Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

Are you eager to utilize this essential care planning tool? Acquire a free, downloadable, and printable AKI nursing care plan template PDF with fictional data to help you confidently track your patient's needs or act as an educational tool. 

Our crafted sample template is designed to assist you in efficiently utilizing the chart and evaluating care goals for patients who have sustained injury and kidney impairment. It includes dedicated sections for evaluation, interventions, and symptom tracking. 

Secure your copy by previewing the sample below or clicking the "Download Example PDF" button.

Download this AKI Nursing Care Plan example: 

AKI Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

When would you use this template?

An AKI nursing care plan can be utilized when a patient is diagnosed with or at risk of developing AKI. AKI refers to a sudden and rapid decline in kidney function, often caused by various factors such as dehydration, severe infection, medication toxicity, or reduced blood flow to the kidneys due to trauma or surgery. 

A care plan is essential in managing and addressing the specific needs of patients experiencing or at risk of AKI. Some scenarios where an AKI nursing care plan can be used include:

Hospitalized patients

Individuals admitted to hospitals due to conditions that predispose them to AKI, such as severe infections, heart failure, sepsis, or after surgeries where there's a risk of kidney injury.

Critical care units

Patients in critical care units, particularly those with conditions that can lead to AKI, require close monitoring and tailored interventions to prevent kidney damage or manage existing AKI.

Chronic disease management

Patients with chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension, which can contribute to kidney damage and AKI, may require ongoing care plans to prevent acute episodes.

Medication management

Some medications, such as certain antibiotics or contrast dyes used in imaging tests, can cause kidney injury. Patients receiving these medications may need a nursing care plan focused on preventing AKI.

What do the results mean?


Assessing for signs and symptoms of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) involves observing both subjective and objective indicators, some of which may include:

  • Physical signs: Reduced urine output (oliguria), swelling in hands, feet, or face (edema), fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, or discomfort.
  • Neurological signs: Confusion, altered mental status.
  • Cardiovascular manifestations: Elevated blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, palpitations, and signs of fluid overload.
  • Renal factors: Compromised regulatory mechanisms leading to kidney failure, fluid overload due to kidney dysfunction or excessive fluid replacement, and electrolyte imbalances like potassium or calcium irregularities.
  • Metabolic effects: Acidosis, uremic effects on cardiac muscle, increased metabolic needs, and protein catabolism.
  • Secondary issues: Gastrointestinal symptoms impacting dietary intake, immunological defense depression due to uremia, invasive procedures/devices like urinary catheters, dietary changes leading to malnutrition, and diuretic phases contributing to excessive fluid loss.


Nursing interventions for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) focus on addressing the underlying causes, preventing complications, and supporting kidney function.  Interventions include, but are not limited to: 

  • Fluid management: Monitoring fluid intake and output, adjusting fluid therapy as needed. Regulating fluid balance prevents complications like fluid overload or dehydration, which is crucial in maintaining kidney function.
  • Electrolyte management: Monitoring and managing electrolyte imbalances (e.g., potassium, calcium). Correcting electrolyte abnormalities helps prevent cardiac irregularities and supports cellular function.
  • Medication management: Administering medications as prescribed, adjusting doses based on kidney function. Medications must be carefully managed, as some drugs can exacerbate kidney damage or require dose adjustments due to impaired renal function.
  • Nutritional support: Collaborating with dietitians to create an appropriate diet plan.

A balanced diet helps manage electrolyte imbalances, reduces the workload on the kidneys, and supports overall health.

  • Vital signs monitoring: Regularly monitoring vital signs, including blood pressure and heart rate. Early detection of changes in vital signs allows for prompt intervention and prevention of complications like fluid overload or cardiovascular issues.
  • Education and support: Educating patients and families about AKI, medications, dietary restrictions, and the importance of follow-up care. Empowering patients with knowledge enables better self-management, adherence to treatment plans, and prevention of recurrent AKI episodes.
  • Prevention of complications: Preventing infections, and monitoring for signs of complications like fluid overload or sepsis. Early identification and management of complications contribute to better outcomes and prevent further kidney damage.
  • Collaboration with healthcare team: Collaborating with physicians, nephrologists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Multidisciplinary collaboration ensures comprehensive care, addressing various aspects of AKI and its management.

Why use Carepatron as Your AKI Nursing Care Plan app?

Selecting Carepatron as your preferred application for creating AKI nursing care plans offers numerous advantages for healthcare practitioners.

Carepatron provides a centralized workspace, allowing you to manage clinical documents and electronic patient records, set patient appointment reminders, and handle medical billing seamlessly and efficiently within the platform, eliminating the need for additional software downloads. 

This integrated and comprehensive approach simplifies and streamlines processes and tasks related to kidney injury management, care, and various other activities, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus most of your time, attention, and effort on patient care.

Carepatron is dedicated to offering a highly efficient and productive platform for thousands of healthcare professionals, allowing you to customize tools and workflows to meet your unique needs. Additionally, it empowers practitioners and patients to manage administrative tasks such as service booking and completing paperwork. The easy sharing of essential documents and data through the app ensures a top-quality customer experience.

We strongly believe in providing radical accessibility, making our app available on any device you have. Our portable medical dictation software simplifies clinical note-making and updates, ensuring an effortless process. With great accessibility comes great responsibility, and we prioritize the security of all notes, clinical records, results, and practitioner data by complying with global security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST.

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Bedford, M., Stevens, P. E., Wheeler, T. W., & Farmer, C. K. (2014). What is the real impact of acute kidney injury? BMC Nephrology, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2369-15-95

Chawla, L. S., Eggers, P. W., Star, R. A., & Kimmel, P. L. (2014). Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease as interconnected syndromes. The New England Journal of Medicine, 371(1), 58–66. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra1214243

Chertow, G., Burdick, E., Honour, M., Bonventre, J., & Bates, D. (2005). Acute Kidney Injury, Mortality, Length of Stay, and Costs in Hospitalized Patients. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 16(11), 3365–3370. https://journals.lww.com/jasn/fulltext/2005/11000/acute_kidney_injury

Elshahat, S., Cockwell, P., Maxwell, A. P., Griffin, M., O’Brien, T., & O’Neill, C. (2020). The impact of chronic kidney disease on developed countries from a health economics perspective: A systematic scoping review. PLOS ONE, 15(3), e0230512. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0230512

Hobson, C. E., Yavas, S., Segal, M. S., Schold, J. D., Tribble, C. G., Layon, A. J., & Bihorac, A. (2009). Acute Kidney Injury Is Associated With Increased Long-Term Mortality After Cardiothoracic Surgery. Circulation, 119(18), 2444–2453. https://doi.org/10.1161/circulationaha.108.800011
Lo, L. J., Go, A. S., Chertow, G. M., McCulloch, C. E., Fan, D., Ordoñez, J. D., & Hsu, C. (2009). Dialysis-requiring acute renal failure increases the risk of progressive chronic kidney disease. Kidney International, 76(8), 893–899. https://doi.org/10.1038/ki.2009.289

Mehta, R. L., Cerdá, J., Burdmann, E. A., Tonelli, M., García-García, G., Jha, V., Susantitaphong, P., Rocco, M., Vanholder, R., Sever, M. S., Cruz, D., Jaber, B., Lameire, N. H., Lombardi, R., Lewington, A., Feehally, J., Finkelstein, F., Levin, N., Pannu, N., & Thomas, B. (2015). International Society of Nephrology’s 0by25 initiative for acute kidney injury (zero preventable deaths by 2025): a human rights case for nephrology. The Lancet, 385(9987), 2616–2643. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(15)60126-x

Sterwart, J., Findlay, G., Smith, N., Kelly, K., & Mason, M. (2009). Acute kidney injury: adding insult to injury. Natl Confid Enq into Patient Outcomes Death. Susantitaphong, P., Cruz, D. N., Cerda, J., Abulfaraj, M., Alqahtani, F., Koulouridis, I., & Jaber, B. L. (2013). World Incidence of AKI: A Meta-Analysis. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 8(9), 1482–1493. https://doi.org/10.2215/cjn.00710113

How do you create an AKI Nursing Care Plan template?
How do you create an AKI Nursing Care Plan template?

Commonly asked questions

How do you create an AKI Nursing Care Plan template?

To create a comprehensive nursing care plan for AKI management, simply create a customized plan from the scaffolding provided by Carepatron and cater to the patient's needs through the key aspects of assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention, and evaluation. 

When are AKI Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

These valuable plan templates can be used at any point of the treatment journey for a patient who has had an acute kidney injury to track, monitor, and plan all interventions both by healthcare professionals and the patient themselves.

How are the AKI Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

AKI nursing care plan templates are used to plan efficient and confident care delivery. They are designed to be customized to meet the individual patient's needs.

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