International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP)

Afza.Malik GDA

Classification of Nursing Practice

International Classification for Nursing Practice

What Is (ICNP),Specific Terms or Language Use, ICN Worldwide Coverage,Historical Over View,Establishment of ICNP Program,Nature of ICNP, Program and Activities of ICNP,ICNP Reference List Data Base,Partnerships of ICNP.

What Is (ICNP)

     The International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) is a program of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The ICNP is intended to be used to represent nursing phenomena (diagnoses), nursing interventions, and nursing outcomes in documentation in the health care record. 

    As a combinatorial terminology, the ICNP facilitates cross-mapping of local terms or terms from other standardized classifications and serves as a unified nursing language system. 

    As a unifying framework or unified nursing language system, the ICNP enables comparison of nursing data across recognized nursing classifications , across organizations, across sectors within health care systems, and among countries. 

    In addition to promoting comparable nursing data, the ICNP is intended to facilitate comparison of nursing data with data from other health disciplines.

Specific Terms or Language Use

    Use of standardized terminologies can support the electronic capture of clinical data by nurses at the source of care delivery. This data can be reused for many purposes, including communication, clinical decision support, policy making, and knowledge generation. 

    In order to represent nursing practice worldwide, the ICNP needs to be broad enough to capture the domain of nursing practice globally and sensitive enough to represent the diversity of nursing practice across countries and cultures. The benefits of the ICNP are to:

• Establish a common language for describing nursing practice in order to improve communication among nurses, and between two nurses and others;

• Represent concepts used in local practice, across languages and specialty area; Describe the nursing care of people (individuals, families, and communities) worldwide

• Enable comparison of nursing data across client populations, settings, geographical areas, and time, Stimulate nursing research through links to data available in nursing and health information systems

• Provide data about nursing practice in or der to influence nursing education and health policy making

    Project trends in patient needs, provision of nursing treatments, resource utilization, and outcomes of nursing care.

ICN Worldwide Coverage

    ICN, representing member associations in over 120 countries, has provided an infrastructure to enhance the development of an ICNP. 

    Along with the ICNP member associations, additional partners, such as informatics experts, researchers, governments/ health ministries, and industry, are needed to realize the vision of the ICNP. The vision of ICNP is to have nursing data readily available and used in health care systems worldwide.

Historical Over View

    In 1989, based on the concern that there was no common language to describe nursing's contribution to health, the ICN approved the resolution that launched the ICNP project. The ICNPS Development Team was organized in 1990 and facilitated. 

    The work of many nurses around the world, which resulted in the ICNP Alpha Version, published in 1996 and followed then by the ICNP Beta Version in 1999. The Beta 2 Version was released in 2000.

Establishment of ICNP Program

    Although the ICNP has been a project of the ICN since 1989, it was only in 2000 that a formal ICNP Program was established. As a program the ICN's commitment to the ICNP is strengthened. 

    The objectives and plans of the ICNPS program are identified and reviewed annually and organized into three activity clusters:communication and marketing, research and development, coordination and program management. 

    The ICNP Program facilitates participation of individuals and groups in the ongoing development and maintenance of the ICNP. Recent research and development efforts have focused on testing the ICNP Beta Version and preparing ICNP Version.

Nature of ICNP

·        It is important to understand that the ICNP will always be dynamic. Just as nursing science and technology evolve, the terminology that represents nursing practice must evolve. In addition, the ICNP must continue to meet international criteria set by standards organizations and to work in harmony with other informatics and terminology initiatives. 

        The ongoing development and revision of the ICNP continue to be complementary to efforts already underground in nursing, building on and unifying the existing work in nursing classifications.

    As a program of ICN, there is a major emphasis on worldwide participation of nurses in the development of the ICNPS. Through the European Union-funded Telenurse Project and the support of many ICN member National Nurses Associations, over 25 translations of the ICNP Beta Version have been completed. 

    The translations expanded opportunities for nurses to participate in research and development in their own language.

Program and Activities of ICNP

    A number of ICNP program activities and mechanisms facilitate research and development; for example, the ICNP Evaluation Committee was formed to provide formal review, consultation, and recommendations for the purpose of revising the ICNP. 

    Evaluation Committee members have already established the ICNP Review Process, to facilitate submission of new terms and other recommendations to ICN for review and consideration. Currently, there are more than 150 Nursing Practice Expert Reviewers, representing more than 25 countries, participating in the ICNP review process. 

    To date, hundreds of recommendations have been submitted to ICN and more that 100 reviews for new terms and definitions have been completed. Some examples of new terms submitted to ICNP include: homelessness (South Africa), gender violence (Swaziland), family crisis (Chile), informal settlements (South Africa), community development (Botswana and Colombia), and newborn care (Portugal) .

ICNP Reference List Data Base

    To facilitate networking among researchers, a reference list and a database of ICNP development and evaluation projects are published on the ICN web site. Examples of types of ICNP research projects include:

(a) concept validation studies.

(b) computer-based information system demonstration projects.

(c) evaluation studies.

(d) cross-mapping projects.

    In a study by Hyun and Park (2002), terms from other nursing classifications were cross-mapped to the ICNP and demonstrated that the ICNP was able to describe many of the existing terms in these systems. 

    One effort underway to support the ICNP as a unified nursing language system is the development of ICNP catalogs (or subsets) of nursing diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes. Projects are underway to create a number of catalogues, including for example, work with specialty nursing areas such as maternal-child and perioperative nursing.

Partnerships of ICNP

    Partnerships are a priority for the ICNP Program. ICN already has a strong infrastructure, including collaborative relation ships with the member national nurses associations and other established nursing, health care, and governmental organizations. 

    A new ICN initiative to facilitate collaboration is the establishment of ICN Research and Development Centers. The initial ICN Centers will focus on ICNP Research and Development. 

    The first ICN Center is the German-language ICNP Users Group, including participants from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Ongoing efforts such as these will continue to promote open partnerships and the use of ICNP as a unifying framework.

    ICN plans to launch the release of the ICNP Version 1 in 2005, at the ICN Congress in Taipei. ICNP Version 1 will include revision to comply with relevant international standards.


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