What are Nursing Rationales?

SimpleNursing Editorial Team Apr 28, 2023
Nurse documents the patient's concerns.

Nursing rationales are a vital component of the nursing process. The rationale provides the critical thinking statement explaining the underlying reasoning for nurses’ interventions. They’re also individualized and based on scientific evidence, clinical judgment, and the patient’s unique needs. 

Overall, nursing rationales enable nurses to provide safe, individualized, and evidence-based care to their patients.

What are nursing rationales?

Nursing rationales are critical thinking statements that explain why a particular intervention is necessary for the patient’s care plan. Rationales should be individualized and specific to each patient based on physical, emotional, as well as psychological needs.

Rationales for Nursing Interventions

Nursing interventions are actions a nurse takes to improve patient health outcomes. Rationales for nursing interventions explain the underlying reasoning for these actions. Rationales are based on evidence-based practice and the patient’s unique circumstances. 

Some examples of rationales for nursing interventions include:

  • Administering medication – The rationale for administering medication might be to reduce the patient’s pain, reduce fever, or treat infection.
  • Turning and repositioning the patient every 2 hours- The rationale for turning and repositioning the patient is to prevent pressure ulcers, improve circulation, and prevent respiratory complications.
  • Providing emotional support – The rationale for providing emotional support might be to reduce anxiety, improve the patient’s mood, and promote a sense of well-being.

Nursing Rationale Examples

Using the interventions above, here are some nursing rationale examples that can be used to justify nursing interventions:

  • When a patient is experiencing severe pain due to a surgical procedure, administer medication. Medications alleviate the patient’s pain, improving their comfort and overall well-being.
  • When a patient is bedridden due to an illness and is at risk of developing pressure ulcers, turn and reposition them. Turning and repositioning the patient will alleviate pressure on bony areas and prevent the formation of pressure ulcers.
  • When a patient is experiencing anxiety and depression due to a recent diagnosis, provide emotional support. Providing emotional support will improve the patient’s mood and sense of well-being, which can help them cope with their diagnosis.

Learn the Nursing Process in Less Time

Rationales for nursing interventions are essential to providing safe, individualized, and evidence-based care to patients.

If you’re a nursing student looking to improve your critical thinking skills and understanding of nursing rationales, consider SimpleNursing as a digital nursing school prep tool to help you master this important concept.

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