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System Development Lifecycle and Nursing Process

The nursing process and Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) are vital concepts in healthcare. The models are critical in clinical care and project nursing as they provide a chronological order of how patient needs may be addressed. Although nursing is a fundamental client-centered care provision process, SDLC is a project management model. The model has been used in the technological field for software development and can be applied in nursing because nursing processes have become more dependent on technology. For example, nursing informatics relies on concepts similar to the SDLC. Scrutinizing the two models’ similarities and differences and their application in healthcare management is crucial in enhancing the nursing practice.

The Overview of System Development Life Cycle

SDLC is a structured multistep process that the team uses to create high-quality information systems. It helps transform ideas into a fully functional system by covering the technical aspects of information technology (IT). The model has seven steps that developers need to use to develop a software project. The first stage is planning, where the organization realizes the need for change in the system (Wang et al., 2019). It involves identifying the problem scope and recommending a possible solution. The second stage is the analysis, where the team assesses the business situation and recommends measures necessary for improvement. They also mention how the system will solve business needs (Wang et al., 2019). The design is the third process, where the team assesses the model’s specifications and examines how such specs can improve the identified problem (Wang et al., 2019). For instance, they assess how networking and specificities will improve the situation. The fourth stage is development, involving expertise from the software engineer and programmers implementing the design. The hardware and software installation occurs at this stage. The fifth level is testing and integration, where quality assurance experts explore whether the design meets consumer expectations and the initial goals. Afterward, the organization implements the project in the sixth stage before undertaking maintenance in the seventh stage. Developing and implementing health information exchange (HIE) relies on implementing SDLC.

The Overview of the Nursing Process

The client-centered process has been used by nurses in clinical care. The recommendations from this model are client-centered and goal-oriented. The first step in the nursing process is the assessment, where the nurse evaluates the patient’s condition using one’s verbal statements and information from family or friends (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). The second stage is diagnosing patient needs, which reveals what one lacks and how the nurse can address such limitations. The third stage is planning, where the nurse develops smart goals for personalized care. After planning, implementation is the subsequent stage comprised of nursing interventions based on the plan of care (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). Evaluation is the final stage, where the nurse examines the intervention’s ability to address the problem. The nurse may consider reassignment or improvement if the intervention fails to achieve the set goals.

Similarities Between NP and SDLC

Although SDLC is commonly used in software engineering, it is relevant in informatics and information management in healthcare settings. First, the models offer procedures and steps necessary for change introduction. SDLC has seven steps, while the nursing process has five phases. Implementers of the two techniques must stick to the steps to realize the needed change. The second similarity is that they all address a problem. SDLC seeks to solve technical and systematic problems in care organizations, while NP focuses on health issues. Patients visit hospitals because they have an ailment to be treated. The third similarity is that the two models are applicable in healthcare settings. SDLC is used when introducing a health information system, while NP is helpful in healthcare interventions. Finally, the two models are scientific and based on the available evidence. Thus, the SDLC and NP share several similarities.

The Differences Between SDLC and NP

The basis of this model is information system technology that seeks to develop or introduce a new system. The model is for health intervention nurses use to offer healthcare interventions to patients.
SDLC has seven stages: planning, analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, and maintenance (Wang et al., 2019). NP has five implementation stages, including assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022).
The implementation of SDLC requires the involvement of the project team, which may include team leaders and project managers. Implementation of the nursing process can involve a team or individual nurse.


Overall, nursing is a scientific discipline with set procedures for operations. The profession is becoming more reliant on other subjects, such as informatics. SDLC is one of the information system management models used in modern healthcare settings. The tool involves seven stages that system developers use to create organizational change. Besides, nurses comply with specific procedures when offering healthcare services. Although the SDLC and NP are applicable in healthcare, their differences arise from development specifics. For example, the former was primarily developed for IT issues since technology is widely used in healthcare. Hence, nurses may utilize the SDLC and NP to offer quality, patient-centered care.


Toney-Butler, T. J., & Thayer, J. M. (2022). Nursing process. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Wang, J., Gephart, S. M., Mallow, J., & Bakken, S. (2019). Models of collaboration and dissemination for nursing informatics innovations in the 21st Century. Nursing Outlook67(4), 419-432.


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