Nurses have an essential role to play in the assessment and planning of patient care. This is emphasised in the Nursing and Midwifery Council's 2018 Future Nurse proficiency standards. In this article, the author discusses the importance of person-centred care in assessing needs and highlights the need for all nursing interventions to be evidence based. The topics covered include assessing people's needs, care planning, stages of care planning, benefits of care planning, models of care, care pathways, and care clustering in mental health care. The article also highlights the significance of record-keeping.