Nursing Narrative Note Template

Attend to your patient's needs and enhance note-taking procedures within clinical environments without compromise.

By Karina Jimenea on Jul 15, 2024.

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Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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Nursing Narrative Note Template PDF Example
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What Is A Nursing Narrative Note Template

Nursing narrative note templates are commonly used within hospitals for nurses to provide concise information concerning a patient’s condition. They’re a note-taking format that is immensely useful in facilitating higher treatment outcomes and healthcare solutions. Through , you can observe and record all critical information concerning the care received, as well as produce rich insights that highlight the various nuances and subtleties of a patient’s health.

Unlike progress notes, nursing narrative note templates are in paragraph form to allow for a more detailed account of a patient’s health status. Healthcare professionals can receive a full record that captures all details, which may be needed in ambiguous or complicated cases where more information is needed. Integrating narrative nursing note templates can see more efficient care and better development of assessments that directly address both prominent and underlying healthcare issues. Create an accurate storyline of your patient’s healthcare journey, and elevate the level of care in your workplace.

How To Use This Template For Nursing Narrative Note

In order to use the nursing narrative note example effectively, it’s helpful to consider the following steps.

Step One: Access the PDF template

To access the nursing narrative note, make sure to download the PDF template, which should open automatically within your PDF reader software. From there, you can fill in and customize the template to match your needs.

Step Two: Fill in the important credentials

To prevent the document from being mixed up, and to ensure they are authorized, make sure to fill out the full name of your patient, their ID, their gender, their date of birth, as well as the date of your appointment. Signing the document at the bottom completes this process, and ensures that you are responsible for its contents.

Step Three: Complete the body sections

The next step is to fill in all the body sections of the template. Check over your information to make sure it is accurate, and that it is also concise. Although nursing narrative notes are more detailed than other forms, this doesn’t mean that you should waffle with irrelevant details.

Step Four: Securely store your notes

Once complete, you’ll need to store the note securely on a HIPAA-compliant platform. This is highly important, as you’re dealing with PHI, which must be protected and at minimal risk from external data breach attempts.

Who Can Use this Printable Nursing Narrative Note Template?

Naturally, as the name suggests, nursing narrative notes are designed with nurses’ needs in mind. They are created for nurses and nurse assistants to implement within their clinics and enhance the level of care provided for patients. Because of their universal formatting and structure, they’re not exclusive to a specific type of nursing and can be used for a variety of different purposes. Additionally, no matter how large or small your clinic or organization is, and despite how many patients you see, every nurse can benefit from incorporating narrative notes within their workspace. Implement them to increase efficiency and accuracy, and never look back. 

Nurses across a range of disciplines can successfully use narrative notes, including the following:

  • Registered nurses
  • Cardiac nurse
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • ER nurse
  • Critical care nurse
  • Geriatric nurse
  • Surgical nurse
  • Mental health nurse
  • Oncology nurse
  • Pediatric nurse
  • Orthopedic nurse

Naturally, each nurse is going to have a different approach when it comes to creating narrative notes. All that you need to focus on is adding valuable information that works towards developing effective treatment plans. Cater the notes to meet your and your client’s needs.

Why Is This Template Useful For Nursing

There are various reasons why this template is useful for nursing, including the following.

  • Greater organization - Narrative notes are great to organize all your client information in one place. You can easily access important details, and you don’t have to spend any extra time restructuring or rearranging your notes for each client. With an adaptable template that can be customized to different healthcare demands, you can ensure that you’re organizing information far more efficiently.
  • Standardization - Increase the consistency and readability of your notes, by having the same high-quality notes for all your clients. It’s more important that healthcare is an equal plane, and having standardized notes is the perfect way for you to work towards that.
  • Easy sharing - Narrative nursing notes are a familiar note-taking form within the healthcare space. This means that you can boost credibility by integrating them within your work, and fellow healthcare professionals can easily understand patient information. This is especially important in the case of referrals, where other health institutions and organizations may need access to your notes.
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Benefits of Nursing Narrative Notes

In addition to their usefulness, nursing narrative notes also offer many benefits to those who utilize them. The following are just a handful of the advantages they provide.

Save time

Having narrative note templates means you don’t have to put in any work when it comes to their structure. They’re ready-made, with all the important details listed for you. Of course, feel free to adapt to your needs, but this shouldn’t take any additional time. Healthcare is busy enough as it is, so save time where you can in order to do what you do best; attending to patients and their health conditions.

Improve clinical outcomes

Nursing narrative notes include all essential information, meaning you can spend more time noting down rich insights and critical details pertaining to the patient’s condition. As a result, you can elevate the quality of clinical outcomes, and work towards higher recovery rates, which is always a big plus!

Greater communication

Narrative notes allow for more detailed descriptions of health conditions and concerns, which means you have greater freedom when it comes to painting a representative picture of a patient’s health. You can communicate their thoughts and feelings, as well as your own professional judgments. As a bonus, you can inevitably increase client satisfaction, and foster greater professional relationships by being able to enhance attentiveness to health conditions.

Make informed decisions

Healthcare is packed to the brim of having to make the right choice when it comes to your patients. Sometimes this can feel incredibly daunting, especially in cases where the answer isn’t always obvious. With narrative nursing notes, you can have more confidence in the decisions you make, with more insight and evidence guiding you.

Legal and insurance protection

In the case that your patient becomes involved in a legal case, your notes must serve as sufficient evidence to prove professional judgment and sound opinion. You can highlight your train of thought, and identify how you reached certain conclusions. Not only this, but you can also increase the accuracy of insurance claims, and receive faster reimbursements. Narrative notes outline all resources used within patient treatment and assessment, which makes for easy evidence records.

How do you write a good nursing note?
How do you write a good nursing note?

Commonly asked questions

How do you write a good nursing note?

There’s no one right way to write a good nursing note, however, you should keep a couple of tips in mind. Firstly, keep them concise. Because you’re writing a narrative note, this doesn’t mean that you can write an entire essay about a patient. Sure your note may be more comprehensive than a SOAP, but it still needs to be succinct for clarity. It’s also recommended that you avoid abbreviations to minimize any confusion and that you double-check all medical terms are correctly applied and spelled. It can be very easy to get things wrong when writing notes in the midst of a busy session, so always take the time to review!

Will my patients see this note?

Yes, it’s likely that your patient will view this note, so it’s important to always take an objective stance, and avoid biased or judgmental comments. All statements should be medically-based, and be supported with relevant evidence. This is standard practice and should be carried out regardless of whether your patient views your notes.

What is nursing charting, and how is it different?

Nursing charting is similar to nursing narrative notes in that medical assessment and intervention details are listed. However, nursing charting is more specific and is broken down into specific sections. It considers less insight and is typically used in large organizations that see a large number of patients or during busy periods. Narrative notes are a good way to assess more broadly, with a number of details included for patients with complex health issues.

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