Nursing Care Needs Standard

Nurses are at the heart of care across a wide range of services, with people and other professionals often reliant on their expertise. PRSB has worked with the NHS and social care to create a new nursing standard for use across different health and social care settings.

Current release

Version: V1.0
Release date
February 2024
Release notes
Next release date
February 2027
Next release type
Scheduled release
The standard
Full standard – PRSB viewer
Open the viewer
Full standard – Excel
Download file (xlsx)
Full standard – Json
Download file (Json)
Minimum Viable Information Standard (MVIS)
MVIS sets out the data items and business rules that must be implemented to achieve safe, minimum implementation . Read more >
Supporting documentation
Implementation guidance
This document includes general implementation guidance for all PRSB standards. Detailed guidance for the Nursing Care Needs Standard can be found in the standard documents (above).
Business rules
Rules for implementation of the standard.
Final report
Describes the purpose, methodolgy and stakeholder engagement for developing the standard, along with the findings and recommendations for further work.
Survey report
Appendices of the final report.
Safety case
Summarises the hazards which could result from implementing the standard.
Hazard log
Details the potential hazards from implementing the standard with their risk rating and mitigation.
Provenance data
Defines the information on who made a record entry and who carried out the activity, where and when.
Male And Female Nurse Working At Nurses Station

Need implementation support?

We provide a support and maintenance service for organisations who are using and implementing PRSB standards. Contact us by phone, email or complete our online form. You will get an automated ID number, and a response within 5 working days. All enquiries are used to improve our products and services.

About this standard

The Nursing Care Needs Standard aims to improve the quality and safety of care in key nurse-led areas, including care planning. It reflects best practice and standardises documentation across different nursing settings, to free nurses and give them more time to care. For example, it standardises information that a nurse in a care home or community setting can access and share in the same way as a mental health or hospital nurse, with a focus on the person’s overall wellbeing.

People tell us that nursing care documentation is an important source of information about their health and care needs, their strengths, and the goals they want to achieve. It describes their quality of life and how this can be improved given their health and care circumstances and underlying conditions. This standard will enable more personalised care provision and enable better self-care.

A standard that allows the exchange of information between IT systems will also enable sharing of standardised information between nurses and other health and social care professionals in the persons’ circle of care for continuity and more timely care delivery. 


The standard is focused on eating and drinking, mobility, elimination (toileting and continence), personal hygiene and dressing, skin, and medication self-management.

The care settings in scope are:

  • Hospital
  • Community
  • Nursing home


Out of scope

  • Mandating which specific risk assessment tool should be used for an assessment.
  • Nurse treatment plans used by Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP) and in non-inpatient care settings.
  • The following clinical specialities and their patients’ needs have not been considered when developing this standard:
  • Midwifery
  • Neonatal care
  • Mental health nursing
    (However, mental health settings may also need to assess functional needs – therefore, this standard should be used where relevant).


Oliver’s story

Boy playing football
About Oliver and his condition
Oliver Parker, a 10-year-old boy has been admitted to acute care following a football injury resulting in a fractured ankle.
Pre-admission history
Oliver presented to A&E where his ankle was X-rayed, confirming a fracture which was then set in a plaster cast by the team.
He continued to complain of severe pain and was very distressed, so he was admitted to the paediatric unit for observation. (An appointment was also made for him to attend the fracture clinic in six weeks.)

Admission journey

Admission journey
Upon arrival at the ward, Nurse Rita introduces herself and explains to him and his mum, Sue, about the ward and admission process.
She explains that she will be Oliver’s named nurse during his admission and James Shaddock his nursing care assistant. They will be the people coordinating his care with the help of the rest of the team on the ward.
Rita conducts Oliver’s inpatient admission nursing care assessment with Sue present, who is his legal guardian.

Further resources

  • Minimum Viable Information Standard (MVIS)
    PRSB information standards define best practice based on evidence and widescale consultation and input from users and stakeholders. PRSB recognises that the NHS and social care are on a journey towards standardisation and interoperability and our aim is to support and encourage implementers on that journey. For this reason, we have defined and clinically validated a ‘Minimum Viable Information Standard (MVIS)’ for each of our standards which represent the minimum safe instance of the standard and delivers the intended objectives within the spirit of the standard. The MVIS defines the data items and business rules which must be implemented in order to have achieved this minimum instance. It is our aim that implementers will continue to improve their implementation of the standard over time and strive for a ‘best practice’ implementation, supported and evidenced by PRSB conformance testing. Please contact our support team to receive a copy of the MVIS for this standard.
  • Standards explained
    PRSB’s guide to standards which sets out the purpose and benefits of using standards and how to support frontline professionals to adopt them.
  • IHRIM record correction guidance
    Despite vigilance when filing information in records, mistakes can occur. The Institute of Health Records and Information Management has guidance to support professionals in making corrections following errors.


  • Royal College of Nursing 
  • Royal College of General Practitioners