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Do You Need to Make an Individualized Healthcare Plan or an Action Plan?

One of the many jobs we have to complete as a school nurse is to make Individualized Healthcare Plans (IHP) for students. Remember nursing school when you had to make care plans for your patients and thought you’d never have to do those again once you graduated? You were wrong!

The IHP is essentially a care plan for your students with health concerns that might warrant one. You do not need one for every single student that has a health issue listed but you should have ones for the students who’s health problem may impact their education.

The IHP is different than a 504 plan. A 504 plan is a legal document between the student/parents and the school district that outlines accommodations for the student as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose is to outline accommodations for the student who’s health concerns will impact their education whether it is a medical issue such as diabetes or a different issue such as ADHD. The student with a 504 plan may not be eligible for an IEP or Special Education but still requires extra accommodations to succeed.

The IHP is different than an action plan but some do use them interchangeably, or combine them if possible. I prefer to combine them as both are needed.

The IHP is a long(ish) term plan to manage a student’s specific health issue while in school. It should be redone per school year or if there are changes in the health status. It is basically a nursing care plan including nursing diagnoses, goals, interventions and outcomes. Once you’ve created the IHP you should consult with the parent and student (if possible) to agree upon the plan and hopefully get a signature on the plan.

If one has the means, they can purchase these books that not only has all the information for IHP planning but it also has software included to manage IHP’s on the computer. Click the picture for the link.


Another resource for IHP planning is NANDA International. You do have to pay to join the site and receive information (I am not associated with them). I am not a member but if you plan on really going all in with IHP’s then it is available for you.

Here is a list of approved nursing diagnoses:

And of course, The Nerdy Nurse has some very good information about NANDA:

The action plan is a file listing things to do in an emergency specific to the student’s issue. It should also be redone each school year or if there are changes to the information. This should include doctor information, emergency contact information, medications taken with dosages and timing, and any other pertinent information to manage an acute issue.

I prefer to retrieve pre-made action plan templates from the experts, or the student’s physician can provide one for you.

Asthma: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has the best action plans for asthma plus other resources and info.

Seizures: The Epilepsy Foundation has the best action plans and resources for seizure management.

Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association has great resources to manage the care of diabetic students.

Hemophilia: While not super common, I’ve actually had TWO students with Hemophilia! this one is very important to have a good action plan for. Hemophilia Federation of America has all your resources for school management.

Anaphylaxis: The Academy of Pediatrics and have plenty of info and good plans for students with anaphylactic allergies.

Please check out my TpT store for a blank IHP template:

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Published by Emme Mauer M.Ed., BSN, RN, CSN

Mom to two preemies, anxiety sufferer, postpartum depression survivor, and school nurse extraordinaire.

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