Year of Publication


Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. J. E. Leitner

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia H. Foster

Third Advisor

Dr. Judith J. Sayre


Expert computer systems for use in the nursing profession are emerging as a potentially viable alternative to manual procedures. As nursing science continues to develop, the intellectual requirements of assessment and diagnosis are demanding that the professional nurse draw on an ever increasing bank of knowledge to interact effectively with clients. An expert system appears a promising tool to assist the nurse in storing and accessing some of the knowledge necessary to perform the assessment and diagnostic functions.

Problems and opportunities In applying artificial intelligence techniques to nursing science are documented and the current state of expert systems for nursing are explored.

A new expert system is developed utilizing artificial intelligence to aid the nurse in performing nursing diagnosis. Employing Prolog on an IBM PC computer, the expert system references client cues found during a nursing assessment and proposes appropriate nursing diagnoses based on those cues. The system is then validated against a human, "expert" nurse to determine its soundness and usefulness.