COPD Nursing Care Plan

Discover the ins and outs of what to include in your COPD Nursing Care Plan Template. Download a free template and example here.

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Written by
Harriet Murray
Harriet Murray
Senior Content Writer
Reviewed by
Harriet Murray

What is a COPD Nursing Care Plan Template?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a pulmonary disease that causes chronic airflow obstruction, causing carbon dioxide buildup, and is often used as an umbrella term for emphysema or chronic bronchitis. The obstruction is a result of inflamed and damaged alveoli that have lost their elasticity and mucus buildup. This disorder is progressive and has no cure, with symptoms worsening over time, making intervention plans an important and crucial aspect of care. This disease is caused by irritants in the lungs over an extended period of time, such as smoking, which triggers alveoli inflammation and damage that subsequently impacts the lung's ability to draw in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Patients may develop COPD from smoking or inhaling other harmful irritants, this includes second-hand smoking. Nurses may find that comorbidities such as asthma, pneumonia, and heart failure exist alongside this diagnosis, making the treatment and care plan both complex and vital. 

A Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) nursing care plan outlines the comprehensive care approach tailored to an individual with COPD. It involves a set of strategies and interventions aimed at managing symptoms, preventing exacerbations, and improving the patient's quality of life. Here are key components typically included in a COPD nursing care plan:

  • Assessment
  • Symptom management
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Medication management
  • Nutritional support
  • Activity planning
  • Education and patient-led management
  • Psychosocial support
  • Preventative measures
  • Monitoring and follow-up

A COPD nursing care plan is individualized based on the patient's specific needs, the severity of the condition, and goals for managing the disease. It's developed collaboratively with the patient, caregivers, and other healthcare professionals to ensure a holistic approach to COPD management.

Downloadable COPD Nursing Care Plan PDF

Check out our free COPD Nursing Care Plan PDF

How does it work?

Step 1: Gather your Resources

COPD 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 “ COPD nursing care plan” on Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or app.

Step 2: Collate Essential Information

Once the patient has been referred to a COPD unit or specialist staff member, utilizing the COPD nursing care plan template to ensure all goals of care are met is seamless and easily accessible to relevant parties via Carepatron’s centralized workspace. The patient's information can be collected and stored within the document and relevant care plan aspects can be charted for. The care plan allows for individualized treatment options and acts as a scaffolding to ensure goals of care are met, and the next steps are recorded for future reference or for distribution to other healthcare specialists who are part of the patient's care team. 

Step 3: Store the Chart Securely

After reviewing the COPD 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.

COPD Nursing Care Plan Example (Sample)

Eager to utilize this essential care planning tool? Acquire a free, downloadable, and printable COPD nursing care plan template PDF that comes pre-filled with fictional data.

Our crafted sample template is designed to aid you in efficiently utilizing the chart and evaluating the goals of care for patients with COPD. It includes dedicated sections for clinical notes and outlines the key components of an efficient COPD nursing care plan. 

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

Download our free COPD Nursing Care Plan Example PDF

COPD Nursing Care Plan Example

When Would You Use This Template?

A COPD nursing care plan is used in various situations involving individuals diagnosed with COPD. The plan is continuously adapted and updated based on the patient's changing needs, response to treatment, and disease progression. Some key scenarios where a COPD nursing care plan is implemented include:

During Diagnosis

When a patient is newly diagnosed with COPD, a care plan is created to establish an initial baseline, educate the patient about the condition, and initiate appropriate interventions.


During hospital admissions due to COPD exacerbations or related complications, a care plan is developed to manage acute symptoms, facilitate recovery, and plan for post-discharge care.

Primary Care Setting

In routine primary care visits, especially for patients with moderate to severe COPD, a care plan is used to assess symptoms, adjust medications, monitor disease progression, and provide ongoing support.

Home Care

For patients receiving care at home, a tailored care plan is essential to manage symptoms, promote self-care, and prevent exacerbations. This includes providing education to patients and caregivers.

Palliative Care

In advanced stages of COPD or in cases where the disease significantly impacts the quality of life, a care plan focusing on symptom management, comfort measures, and emotional support is developed.

Rehabilitation Programs

In pulmonary rehabilitation programs, a care plan is utilized to address exercise regimens, respiratory therapies, education, and psychosocial support to improve overall functioning and quality of life.

Long-Term Care Facilities

For individuals with severe COPD requiring long-term care in facilities, a care plan is established to address respiratory care, medication management, and support for daily activities.

Aspects of COPD Nursing Care Plans

The management and care planning involved for COPD patients is vast, and an individualized approach is best. Nurses, along with the team of healthcare professionals, must decide what is in the best interest of the patient's comfort and disease management, yet a typical plan will involve the management and education around the following aspects:

An in-depth assessment of the patient's respiratory status, along with lung function tests, oxygen saturation levels, and overall health status, will help build the foundational knowledge within a care plan and will dictate the next steps needed for symptom management. If the patient displays symptoms such as dyspnea, coughing, and sputum production, a nurse may utilize a care plan involving certain positioning techniques, breathing exercises, and medication. Commonly used medical interventions for COPD include, but aren’t limited to, bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and antibiotics should the medical team deem it necessary. The use of oxygen therapy and the education around utilizing the oxygen aids is a crucial aspect of COPD care planning, and an informed plan that incorporates monitoring of the aids and levels, as well as their effectiveness, is key for good symptom management. 

To address the rapid weight loss often associated with COPD and changes in energy and strength, nutritional guidance is a common and important aspect of care planning. The use of an interdisciplinary team, such as dieticians who work alongside the nurse's care plan, helps offer the patient a well-rounded holistic care plan. Another aspect of an interdisciplinary team may involve a social worker or mental health specialists to help address the psychosocial needs that may be distressing to the patient as they come to terms with the chronic nature of the disease and the limitations that it may cause. 

The education and management around what COPD is, how it will affect daily life, what symptoms to expect, and how to manage these symptoms both in care and at home are all important moments of education and management that are vital to the success of a COPD nurses care plan that truly caters to the patient. Patients need to feel confident in their individual care, for example, thorough training should be given on using inhalers and oxygen therapy aids. Warning sign identification of when to seek immediate medical attention, breathing exercises, and support in smoking cessation are all points of educational value that are important to include in a COPD nurse care plan.

Why use Carepatron as Your COPD Nursing Care Plan app?

Selecting Carepatron as your preferred application for creating a COPD nursing care plan 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 COPD management and care as well as 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 at your disposal. 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.

Nurse Software Benefit


Barlow, J., Wright, C., Sheasby, J., Turner, A., & Hainsworth, J. (2002). Self-management approaches for people with chronic conditions: a review. Patient Education and Counseling, 48(2), 177–187.

Boyer, P. (2023, January 2). British Journal of Community Nursing - What are the benefits of using self-management plans for COPD patients in the community: a critical review of the literature. British Journal of Community Nursing.

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. (2022). Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease - GOLD.

Jolly, K., Sidhu, M. S., Hewitt, C. A., Coventry, P. A., Daley, A., Jordan, R., Heneghan, C., Singh, S., Ives, N., Adab, P., Jowett, S., Varghese, J., Nunan, D., Ahmed, K., Dowson, L., & Fitzmaurice, D. (2018). Self management of patients with mild COPD in primary care: randomized controlled trial. BMJ, 361, k2241.

NHS England. (2019). NHS England Respiratory Disease.; NHS England.

NICE. (2018). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in over 16s: diagnosis and management | Guidance | NICE.

Sargent, P., & Boaden, R. (2006). Implementing the role of the community matron. Nursing Times, 102(13), 23.

Vera, M. (2019). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Nursing Care Plans - Nurseslabs. Nurseslabs.

WHO. (2020). The top 10 causes of death.

How do you create a COPD Nursing Care Plan template?
How do you create a COPD Nursing Care Plan template?

Commonly asked questions

How do you create a COPD Nursing Care Plan template?

To create a comprehensive nursing care plan for COPD 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 COPD Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

These valuable plan templates can be used at any point of the treatment journey for a patient with COPD to track, monitor, and plan all interventions both by healthcare professionals and the patient themselves.

‍How are the COPD Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

COPD nursing care plan templates are used as a planning tool for efficient and confident delivery of care. They are designed to be customized and meet the needs of the individual patient.

Who creates a COPD Nursing Care Plan Template?

A nurse will use this COPD care plan to help outline treatments and planning yet the template can be easily used and managed by any healthcare professional, even as an educational tool for the patient's own self-management.

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