The federal government requires you to do an initial assessment (no later than day 14) and then assessments every three months after that (called "quarterlies" and "annuals.") Your MDS Coordinator will let you know when you might have to do a "significant change" assessment also. Every resident should have a care plan no later than the 21st day following admit - it can and should be updated as often as necessary so that it still fits the resident. Some nursing homes use forms for initials, quarterlies, significant changes and annuals. Others write narratives, giving the documentation a title so the reader knows which of the above mentioned assessments the note represents.