Chapter 32 – Writing a SOAP Note for Registered Nurses

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Writing a SOAP Note for Registered Nurses

SOAP notes are standardized and organized patient progress notes that were initially developed in the 1960s by Lawrence Weed. Unlike a traditional note, SOAP notes help nurses and other health care providers to easily share patient information with other health care providers. SOAP notes contain four critical elements: Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan, and Process. The first two sections are crucial and should contain relevant information about the patient’s condition.

When writing a SOAP note for registered nurses, there are two main parts: the Objective and the Assessment. The Objective section relates to how the body functions and the Assessment section deals with actionable items for each diagnosis. The Subjective section, on the other hand, deals with what the patient says. This article will explore both aspects of a SOAP note. Here are a few things to remember when writing a SOAP note.

Subjective and Objective portion of SOAP notes

The first section of the SOAP note is the Subjective part. This information should be the patient’s own words, including the onset, nature, and quality of their symptoms. Include where they’re located, how long they’ve been experiencing them, and whether they’re radiating or referring. Next, write down the specific medications the patient is taking and how often they’re administered. The objective section of a SOAP note for registered nurses should include all of the patient’s medical history, including current medications and their dosages.

The next section of the SOAP note for registered nurses focuses on the diagnosis. A nurse must determine the problem or issue the patient is experiencing and write it down. This information is vital for the next practitioner’s care. It is also vital for generating insurance claims and proving that you care about your clients. Although pen and paper notes have been used for the longest time, dictated and typed SOAP notes are now becoming more common.

The objective part of a SOAP note for registered nurses should be the most important section of the SOAP. It should include the patient’s condition. The objective section of a SOAP note should also include a description of the patient’s five senses. Moreover, the SOAP note should address changes over time and how the plan should be modified.

The last section consists of the Assessment and Plan. The last section of SOAP notes for registered nurses focuses on the process of taking care of the patient. The SOAP notes are written immediately after a treatment. In some cases, the notes can be started while the client is still with the clinician. This will allow the nurse to complete the subjective and objective portions of the note at the same time. The SOAP notes are intended to be concise and organized. They should be well-written and contain only important information.

Assessment portion of SOAP notes relates to actionable items for each diagnosis

The assessment portion of SOAP notes refers to specific actions, observations, or other details related to a patient’s condition. It should be well organized and logical, and include any observations regarding a patient’s physical abilities. This section can be organized in a variety of ways, but chronological order is most common. The goal of the assessment section is to document the findings and recommendations for the treatment of the patient.

The assessment portion of SOAP notes includes the patient complaint, time of onset, and any other relevant information. The goal of the assessment portion of a SOAP note is to document findings and help physicians and other healthcare professionals understand the patient’s condition better. A good note can also provide a framework for communication between the patient and other members of the healthcare team, and improve documentation and memory.

Emphasis on Subjective – Subjective portion of SOAP notes relates to what the patient says

The subjective portion of SOAP notes for registered nurses is a vital part of the patient’s medical history. It is crucial that the nurse record all pertinent information, including current medications, allergies, and other conditions. In addition, the nurse should note any new information, such as the cause of the illness. The objective part refers to hard data, such as lab results and vital signs. The assessment section refers to the overall interpretation of the subjective and objective information, including new problems or issues.

The subjective part of SOAP notes for registered nurses is intended to provide context for later sections. For example, the nurse may record the patient’s chief complaint, but that may not align with the Assessment and Plan. To address this, authors Valerie Lew and Sassan Ghassemzadeh advise nurses not to assume the first complaint that the patient tells them is their primary complaint. The authors recommend encouraging patients to document all complaints so that the nurse can determine which one is the most important and needs further investigation.

The assessment section of the SOAP note should include observations of the client’s physical condition, neurological function, and symptoms. Ideally, this section should be short, describing only changes that occur and evaluating the patient’s progress. For example, if a patient’s condition is complex, it may take more time than a single visit to gather information. Following up on the patient’s progress in treatment should include information that reflects the patient’s response to the treatment.

The Subjective portion of the SOAP note for registered nurses focuses on what the patient says and what the nurse sees in the session. Generally, SOAP notes should not be written during the session. The SOAP notes should be written after each appointment, and should contain accurate information and quotes. When writing SOAP notes, the nurse should use neutral language and avoid using jargon or slang.

Goal of a SOAP note is to capture specific information about a client

The purpose of a SOAP note for a registered nurse is to capture specific information about a client. These notes focus on a client’s physical and verbal behavior. They should be concise and easy to read. Ideally, the information contained in a SOAP note is objective and measurable. Observations, scores from screenings, and other such information belong in the O section. O sections should only include facts and not opinions.

SOAP notes can serve several purposes. They can help healthcare professionals stay organized and remember important information, such as the client’s medical history and symptoms. Sometimes, SOAP notes are required by an employer or insurance company. Depending on the circumstances, they can also be crucial for getting reimbursement for work. SOAP notes can also serve as evidence in court. A good SOAP note should be comprehensive, enabling other healthcare practitioners to understand the state of a client or patient.

A SOAP note should contain information about the client’s physical status, psychological condition, and general health and treatment plan. It should also include the rationale for testing and what will happen if a test fails. The SOAP should also include information about the client’s therapeutic goals, progress, and regression. The information should be accurate and detailed, but not so specific that it complicates the decision making process of other health care providers.


An SOAP note for a registered nurse is structured in four parts. The first part of a SOAP note should capture the patient’s chief complaint. The next section should discuss the patient’s history and describe their symptoms. In the last section, focus on their needs and treatment goals. You should also capture their current medications. This is crucial because the information you collect will help other healthcare providers diagnose the patient.

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