Using a "brain" or report sheet

A report sheet (also called a "brain sheet") is simply a reference used by nurses so they can keep track of important information about each patient. This sheet is often filled out with key information during change-of-shift report and then updated as things change (and they always do!). The brain sheet is then used at the end of shift to give report to the oncoming nurse. Having a good brain sheet is key for patient safety and effective communication.

โœ๏ธ Download the Clinical Success Pack and get report sheets for ICU, Med Surg and Telemetry

Need more info on how use a brain sheet for report?

Here's what a Med-Surg brain sheet looks like at the beginning and end of shift. I'll talk you through each component in the video below (scroll down!).๐Ÿ‘‡

Sample report sheet

How to use a brain sheet tutorial video

In this quick video, I'm talking you through how to use a report or "brain" sheet at the beginning and end of your shift. Watch to learn the components of a report sheet, how to use each section, and how to utilize this document to give end-of-shift-report.

โœ๏ธ Click here to download FREE report sheets for ICU, Med Surg and Telemetry.


  1. Carrie M. on August 2, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Nurse Mo,
    I think your website is the best! I will be starting my 4th semester nursing thru an ADN program. I’m typically an A and B student, but I missed the mark by 2 points for 3rd semester and received a C. Hopefully 4th won’t totally bog me down! However, I usually do pretty good with clinical, but this semester we will be on our own, so looking forward to all the goodies you have provided. Thank you for unselfishly thinking of us when you have a career and family to think about.

    • Nurse Mo on August 5, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Good luck with 4th semesterโ€ฆyou’ll do great! This is when it all comes togetherโ€ฆyou’ll be surprised how much you know (and also surprised at how much there is still to learn). Stay focused on the patient and TAKE CARE of yourself and all will be well ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Becca E. RN on December 1, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Do you have anything related to a brain for a med -surg floor ? I love the flow of yours and all the details, I am just not an ICU nurse.

  3. Katie MG on March 19, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Would you happen to have a “brain sheet” that is more geared toward the respiratory system? I’m a Respiratory Therapy/Care student. If not, could you point/lead me in the direction where I may find one?

    • Nurse Mo on March 19, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Good question! I don’t have one and I honestly wouldn’t know how to go about making one! The best thing might be to ask the RTs at the facility where you do your clinical rotations. I know I’ve seen the RTs at my hospital use them, but I never took a close look.
      Sorry! And best of luck with RT school…such a cool job!

  4. Kelli on June 29, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I love your ICU brain sheets? Do you happen to have one I could edit? If not, I understand! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nurse Mo on July 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      I don’t…the files are huge InDesign files. Thanks for loving them, though!

  5. ina on October 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Hi ,
    do you have any notes biliary and pancreas disorders ?
    Can you post some please ?

    • Nurse Mo on October 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Ina…I will look! Maybe I’ll create a case study…been wanting to do that for a long time!

  6. Morgan Swisher on January 20, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Is their a way to print these? I would love to use these for my handoff ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Celeste on July 31, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Hi, is there anyway you can make a labor and delivery one? Im a new l&d nurse and still trying to come up with a more organized way to receive and give report

    • Nurse Mo on July 31, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Hi Celeste!
      I would have to get help from my L&D friends as I have NO IDEA what sorts of things you need on a brain sheet. If anyone wants to share their insight, I’d be happy to!

  8. Nikki on August 11, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Love it.
    Doesnt quite work for ED.
    Reiterates the difference between ED and ICU brains to me though.

    • Nurse Mo on August 12, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Oh yeah…ED IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT! I’d love to create a brain sheet for the ED, but what I was thinking was make it 4 to a page so you can essentially cut them out into small little “mini brains” to write down just the key info….then toss when that pt leaves. How many patients do you think you see in a day? I imagine it can be a lot!

  9. Cassandra Klakken on October 17, 2017 at 2:15 am

    This is one of the best peripheral brains I have seen. I recently transferred from ED where I was able to keep all that chaos bottled inside my head. The ICU is a completely different animal and I am afraid my poor brain will overload with trying to remember all the labs and vent settings, gtts, etc. Love this brain!

  10. Ken on May 6, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Do you have a link to open these on a word document? I like typing and it would be great to have this there!

    • Nurse Mo on May 9, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Sorry…I don’t use Word ๐Ÿ™ All my items are created using design programs, but it’s so easy to make your own! I highly encourage people to make their own brain sheets since they will work the way YOUR brain works ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Ken on May 6, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Hey I was wondering if you have a word document copy of this. I would really like to type up my report because my handwriting looks like I am having a seizure during report lol

  12. colqui86 on July 28, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I would love a copy of the run shift, I work the tele floor and haven’t found one that really suits my needs yet.

  13. Kaitlyn on March 18, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Hello! do you have a brain sheet or anything to keep me organized during my shift, I am a new nurse working in the NICU. Thank you!

    • Nurse Mo on March 26, 2020 at 10:30 am

      I don’t have one specific to the NICU, but you could start with the one-patient sheet and then adjust it for your needs. I know there are specific NICU things that don’t apply to adults…let me ask some NICU nurses and see what they suggest ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Alison on July 4, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Nurse Mo, could you please make a “key” for your medsurg brain sheet or show an example of a completed sheet?

  15. Laura Lambert on April 25, 2021 at 5:33 am

    Do you have Icu brain for PM shift?

    • Nurse Mo on April 27, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      This is the only one I have…I used it for days and NOCs. Are you referring to the run sheet with the time slots on it? It’s possible I have one…send me an email ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Angela on July 7, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Thank you

  17. Diana on September 16, 2022 at 5:53 am

    Nurse Mo!
    I’ve been a listener for 2 semesters now and I love your content. It’s detailed and to the point. I get to listen before my lectures so I have an idea of how the content will flow. It’s been helping me through each semester. I’m currently in my last semester doing A LOT of critical care content. My plan is to be somewhere in the Pediatrics, specifically Cardiac. Thanks for being my cheerleader and virtual supporter!


    • Nurse Mo on September 19, 2022 at 8:17 am

      Hi Diana…thanks for the thoughtful feedback! So glad the podcast is helping you!

  18. Monica Svendsen on October 5, 2022 at 8:31 am

    Hi Nurse Mo!
    I’m heading into a surgical rotation and would love to use the brain sheet particular to this rotation…when I go to the Etsy link it tells me that this item is no longer available :(.
    Could you point me in the correct direction for one?
    Love, love your podcasts!


    • Nurse Mo on October 6, 2022 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Monica – the closest one I have currently is the Telemetry Brain – I think you could use that one just fine! And, since many patients on a surgical unit are on telemetry monitoring, you’ll be covered ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck in your surgical rotation!

  19. Ellie on November 18, 2022 at 5:43 am

    I am a nurse from a non English country, Is the Giving End-of-Shift Report: Episode 7 podcast transcript available?

  20. Sophia on March 14, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    Hi there! I found you through your PACU episode on your podcast! I’m an ICU RN transitioning to PACU. I don’t normally use a template for a brain but with the high pt turnover in the PACU and the frequent reports with anesthesia and OR (and unfamiliar anesthesia/reversal meds), I’m thinking I might need one at the beginning. Do you have a PACU brain or link? Thanks for your episode! Really enjoyed it.

    • Nurse Mo on March 15, 2023 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Sophia…welcome to The Good Life ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll LOVE PACU! It’s so great for so many reasons! When I first started I did make a little brain sheet but as I got more experience I realized what I actually needed to write down for my patients and I just do that on the fly.

      When we get our patient assignments, they come on a slip of paper that’s about 8.5 inches wide and 4 inches tall. I turn that over and place it vertically…I then create three equal sections.

      In the top section I write any PMH that’s relevant to me in the PACU. If they take any meds I need to know about I jot those down here as well. This is also where I include any allergies.

      The middle section is for surgery…I write down what meds ANES gave, how long the surgery was (patients often ask, so I like to have it handy), any drains that were added, dressings, blood products, EBL, IVF intake and output (if they had a Foley).

      The bottom section is for PACU. On the right side I write my standard to-do list “EKG strip, orders (to remember to get orders if I don’t have them yet), IV Fluids, Care plan, Education, Out note (upon transer). I’ll also add anything specific for that patient like a glucose POC, 12-lead, arm sling, abd binder, x-ray, labs, neuro checks, etc…

      And the rest of that bottom section is where I jot down any notes that I’ll need to convey in report.

      Easy peasy! I hope that helps!