Effective Tips for writing a good Patient Teaching/Education Plan

Written by Brandon L.
January 25, 202418 min read

How do I write a teaching plan for nursing? If this question bothers you, then you are in luck. Patient education is critical in aiding positive patient outcomes and ensuring maximum independence. Nurses play a significant role in patient education by utilizing nursing teaching plans to provide the necessary information to patients to manage their health conditions. A detail-oriented nursing education plan informs patients, improves their understanding of their medical condition, and helps them make the best decisions about their health. As a nursing student, you must learn how to write a teaching plan so that you can communicate well with patients about their medical issues.

In this guide, we will define a nursing teaching plan, show you the steps for creating a teaching plan for a patient, and give tips for writing an impactful teaching plan.

What is a Teaching Plan in Nursing?

A nurse-teaching or patient education plan guides patients about a particular medical issue. In other words, it is a way for nurses to teach patients about their illnesses so that they can know how to take medication and manage their disease.

These plans are necessary for informing patients without medical backgrounds what to do when they are not close to their doctors. They identify a patient's current needs and acknowledge the possible risks. The goal is to achieve long-lasting behavioural changes by providing relevant knowledge to allow patients to make autonomous decisions about their health.

Nurse teaching plans are vital in patient education as they are used to achieve the best care plan for patients. Usually, both nurses and nursing students use these teaching plans to learn more about a particular illness. They can make better decisions concerning a diagnosis, impending surgery, medications, and treatment options.

A well-thought-out patient teaching plan is an effective way for nurses to teach patients instead of communicating information without a plan.

What Should A Nursing Teaching Plan Include

A good teaching plan must include the following:

These are all crucial elements that will help

How to Create a Nursing Teaching Plan

Research shows that a well-thought-out teaching plan significantly improves patient outcomes and saves lives. For this reason, you must learn how to create an effective teaching plan. The following are the steps for creating an effective teaching plan for nursing.

Come up with the Goals of the Teaching Plan

Figuring out how to write a patient teaching plan is challenging, so setting a goal to guide you through every step is necessary. Remember, a lesson plan outlines teaching goals, learning objectives, and how you intend to accomplish them.

An effective and productive nursing teaching plan differs from one in which everything goes well but in which both the teacher and student gain something from it.

Start by deciding what medical issues, such as surgery or treatment ideas, will be the basis for the teaching plan. Then, decide what you want the nursing plan to fulfill.

For example, if you are teaching a diabetic patient, the goal would be to inform them how they would be taking regular insulin injections. Ensure the goals are measurable, realistic, achievable, and relevant to the patient's medical condition.

Find Out What Works Best

Ask the patient how they learn best so that you can match their style. If you don’t know how to go about this, consider asking, "The last time you learned about something new easily, how was it taught?" If they prefer visuals or jotting things down, make sure you make it possible for them. This is necessary for delivering medical information in a way that the patient can understand.


The most common way to teach patients is using visual components and auditorily. Thus, it's best to include images, graphs, and diagrams in your nursing if they prefer visuals. If they prefer auditory, it's best to read to them out loud or provide a recording device they can use whenever.

Assess Patient's Knowledge

Apart from knowing how patients learn best, it's important that you also assess their medical knowledge. This will then help you know how to write a nursing teaching plan that works well. If they don't understand medical concepts, you may have to find more information in the teaching plan to make it easy for them to grasp what you intend to teach them. You can achieve this by asking the following questions:

The answers to these questions will help you judge a patient's knowledge of medical concepts. Nurses play a big role in identifying and addressing patients' knowledge deficits, which any of the following could cause:

As a nurse, you should know all the causes of knowledge deficit to communicate well with the patients. Knowledge deficit refers to a lack of the necessary information to understand and process an illness and treatment options, thus impeding a patient's ability to make informed decisions aligning with their health.

Also, ensure you know all the patient's needs and concerns before teaching them. This means you should be aware of all their issues and key details of the after-care plan.

For example, a patient may have been given prescription medication by their therapist to take at home.

At the same time, they may be required to do some exercises according to their physical therapist. Therefore, it's imperative that you keenly evaluate theory ability to understand what you will be teaching them.

Please note that some patients may struggle to understand even the simplest information because of a mental issue. So, it's best to know this before you begin teaching them.

Create an Outline

Now that you have figured out the patient's learning style and knowledge of medical concepts, you need to develop an outline of what information you will deliver. Use either an online template or create one. Include the following in the outline:

Include the patient through every step by sharing information to make them feel they are in control of their health.

Write Clear Instructions

Write down clearly what you expect the patients to do. Explain when, where, and how you want the patient to complete the task.

Don't beat around the bush. Make sure every information you are sharing is as specific as possible. For instance, if your teaching plan is about chemotherapy treatment, include details of when they should come, how many times they should come in a month, and the side effects of the treatment. Other information you should add:

 All this information is necessary to understand the patient's medical condition comprehensively.

Provide information in Small Chunks.

It’s essential to share information with patients in a way that they can understand. For this reason, sharing information in smaller, more manageable, and meaningful chunks is necessary so that you don’t overwhelm them. Therefore, it breaks down complex phrases and sentences into smaller sections that are easy to process.

Before moving to the next section, ensure the previous one is easy to digest. In addition, make it easy for patients to ask for information about what they do not understand and provide clarification when needed.

Create a Glossary of the Medical Terms

Patient information must be written and communicated in a way that is easy for patients to understand. Medical terms refer to words and phrases that are used specifically in healthcare. Including a glossary list ensures that patients can refer to terms they do not understand. A glossary of terms is crucial to the success of the nursing teaching plan because some medical terms are extremely complex, especially for patients without any medical background.

Provide Relevant Copies of the Material

Increase your chances of success by providing relevant material and the teaching plan. This could be information about health facilities pamphlets, contact information for emergency clinics, and information about specialists.

Also, customize and print the resources instead of just handing the patient a stack of papers. The teaching plan should address their plans.

Additionally, before being discharged, repeat the plan with the patients to ensure they understand it. Some of these resources are valuable in multiple languages, so you can find the one suitable for your patients to make it easier for them to understand the information.

Evaluate the Outcome of the Teaching Plan

Check-in with the patient occasionally to know how well they follow the teaching plan. If they are having difficulties, offer to show them again or adjust the mode of information delivery.

Also, consider reviewing the teaching plan once more to know whether information could confuse the patient. If there are, consider simplifying the questions.

You may be forced to reteach the information once more through different methods. So, modify the nursing education plan until the main objective is achieved, which is learning.

Use the following steps to evaluate the patient outcomes:

Tips for Success

The following are some tips to increase your chance of success when using a nursing teaching plan to educate your patients.

Anticipate Questions

Before you begin teaching the patients, you must anticipate any questions or concerns they might have. This will help you act on them and prepare adequately for the lesson.

For instance, if you teach a parent of a child with high blood pressure, you might anticipate a question like, why does a young child have high blood pressure?

Prepare a teaching plan that addresses the fact that high blood pressure in children is a common result of kidney problems.

Involve the patient's Family.

Patients’ family involvement in a patient education plan is critical as it impacts the quality of care and patient outcomes. It also improves their mental health and motivates them to follow the teaching plan.

Family involvement will ensure that the patients get the help they need to follow through with the teaching plan. If they cannot come, arrange to speak to them by phone or email.

Stimulate Patient’s Interest

Patient interest is necessary for them to learn and follow through with the teaching plan. The best way to stimulate this interest is by first building a rapport, asking questions, being respectful, and considering their concerns. i

f your patient prefers detailed information about a particular concept, provide it to them. If they prefer facts, ensure that you also offer them.

Final Word 

Creating an impressive nursing teaching plan is necessary to ensure patients take a proactive role in their health. For this reason, you must know how to write it well. Including clear objectives and implementing the appropriate teaching methods will ensure that patients learn everything they need. The above tips will help you create an impactful nursing teaching plan.

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