PTSD Nursing Care Plan

Master PTSD care with our Nursing Plan Template. Download the free PDF for comprehensive strategies and real-world examples.

By Liliana Braun on Jul 21, 2024.


Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is a PTSD Nursing Care Plan template?

The PTSD Nursing Care Plan Template is an essential resource for healthcare professionals managing the complex needs of patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This meticulously crafted tool holistically assesses a patient's physical, emotional, and psychological health. Identifying specific nursing diagnoses related to PTSD, such as intrusive memories, avoidance behaviors, and mood alterations, lays the groundwork for personalized care.

At the heart of this template is the development of tailored, measurable goals that cater to each patient's unique situation. These objectives focus on reducing symptoms, strengthening coping strategies, and building resilience. The care plan includes a range of interventions, from cognitive-behavioral and exposure therapies to mindfulness practices. Pharmacological treatments are also considered, particularly for more severe symptoms.

A critical component of this care plan is its emphasis on continuous evaluation. Regular assessments allow healthcare providers to measure the effectiveness of interventions and make necessary adjustments. This adaptive approach ensures that the care plan evolves in tandem with the patient's changing needs.

Furthermore, the PTSD Nursing Care Plan Template adopts a comprehensive care perspective. It includes psychoeducation for patients and their support networks, enhancing understanding of PTSD and its effects. The plan often involves collaboration with a broader team of healthcare professionals, social workers, and community resources, ensuring a well-rounded support system for the patient.

In summary, this template is more than just a document; it's a dynamic, evolving strategy that addresses the multifaceted challenges of PTSD, ensuring patients receive the most effective, personalized care possible.

How does it work?

Here are the steps for using a printable PTSD nursing care plan template:

  1. Assessment: The first step in utilizing a printable PTSD nursing care plan involves conducting a thorough assessment of the patient's condition. This entails gathering detailed information about the patient's PTSD symptoms, their severity, duration, and impact on daily life. Additionally, the nurse should explore potential risk factors that may contribute to the development or exacerbation of PTSD.
  2. Diagnosis: Based on the comprehensive assessment, the nurse determines if the patient meets the diagnostic criteria for PTSD established in classification systems such as the DSM-5 or ICD-10. This involves evaluating the presence, duration, and impact of specific symptoms on the patient's functioning.
  3. Planning: Once a diagnosis of PTSD is established, the nurse collaborates with the patient and other healthcare providers to develop a personalized care plan. This plan should outline specific goals and objectives tailored to the patient's needs and preferences. The goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to ensure they are achievable and focused on improving the patient's quality of life.
  4. Intervention: The printable PTSD nursing care plan provides a framework for implementing evidence-based interventions to address the patient's symptoms and improve their overall well-being. These interventions may include psychoeducation, relaxation techniques, coping skills development, medication management, support groups, and therapy. 
  5. Evaluation: Regular evaluation is crucial for determining the effectiveness of the interventions and assessing the patient's progress. The nurse should monitor the patient's symptoms, evaluate their functioning, and track their response to treatment. This ongoing evaluation allows for adjustments to the care plan to optimize outcomes.

For additional support in your practice, consider our templates for developing effective care plans. Our comprehensive care plan and nursing care plan templates provide structured approaches to patient management and improve outcomes. Explore these resources to enhance your care strategies and documentation processes.

When would you use this template?

When admitting a patient with PTSD to a hospital or healthcare facility, the PTSD Nursing Care Plan Template serves as a valuable resource, enabling healthcare professionals to swiftly and effectively assess the patient's needs. It facilitates the development of a comprehensive plan of care tailored to the individual, considering the unique challenges associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

In instances where a patient with PTSD experiences a flare-up of symptoms, the template proves instrumental in identifying triggers and devising a targeted plan to help the patient cope. This proactive approach aids in managing acute episodes, fostering a more supportive and responsive care environment.

For those patients requiring ongoing care, the template remains a dynamic tool, allowing healthcare providers to track the individual's progress systematically. Regular assessments ensure that the care plan evolves with the patient's changing needs, promoting continuous improvement and adaptation. 

Beyond individual patient care, the PTSD Nursing Care Plan Template extends its utility to education. When educating other healthcare providers about PTSD, the template is an informative teaching tool. It equips providers with a structured understanding of the disorder, offering insights into effective care strategies and fostering a more informed and empathetic healthcare community dedicated to serving patients with PTSD.

What do the results mean?

When using a Free PTSD Nursing Care Plan Template, key results include:

  • Symptom reduction: A significant reduction in PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and sleep disturbances, indicates that the interventions are effectively addressing the patient's condition.
  • Functional improvement: Enhanced ability to perform daily activities, engage in social interactions, and maintain employment suggests that the patient's overall functioning improves.
  • Increased self-management skills: Developing effective coping strategies, relaxation techniques, and stress management techniques demonstrates that the patient is gaining control over their symptoms.
  • Improved quality of life: Overall satisfaction with life, reduced emotional distress, and increased engagement in meaningful activities reflect an overall improvement in the patient's well-being.
  • Medication effectiveness: Monitoring medication adherence, side effects, and symptom reduction helps determine the effectiveness of prescribed medications and identify any potential adjustments.

Research & evidence

Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating anxiety disorder associated with substantial distress and increased utilization of healthcare resources, it frequently goes undiagnosed. In the United States, the lifetime prevalence of PTSD ranges from 8 to 9 percent, with approximately 25 to 30 percent of individuals who experience significant trauma developing PTSD.

The symptoms of PTSD manifest in three clusters: re-experiencing the trauma, marked avoidance of usual activities, and increased symptoms of arousal. A formal diagnosis of PTSD requires that these symptoms significantly disrupt normal activities and persist for more than one month.

Given the complex nature of PTSD, which often involves multiple comorbidities, the importance of nursing care plans cannot be overstated. These structured plans provide a framework for healthcare professionals to address the diverse needs of individuals with PTSD. Nursing care plans are pivotal in coordinating multidimensional treatment approaches, including supportive patient education, cognitive behavior therapy, and psychopharmacology.

Moreover, they help tailor interventions to the specific challenges each patient faces, fostering a more individualized and effective care strategy. In the context of PTSD, where holistic care is essential for recovery, nursing care plans serve as invaluable tools to guide comprehensive and patient-centered treatment (Grinage, 2003). 


Grinage, B. D. (2003). Diagnosis and management of post-traumatic stress disorder. American Family Physician, 68(12), 2401–2408.

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

Commonly asked questions

How do you create a PTSD Nursing Care Plan template?

Careparton has you sorted with an easy-to-download and ready-to-use PTSD Nursing Care Plan template.

When are PTSD Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

PTSD Nursing Care Plan templates are used when admitting PTSD patients, managing PTSD symptom flare-ups, providing ongoing PTSD care, and educating healthcare providers.

How are the PTSD Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

PTSD Nursing Care Plan templates are used for systematic assessment, accurate diagnosis, individualized care plans, implementation of evidence-based interventions, ongoing evaluation and monitoring, and documentation and continuity of care.

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