The Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) is a comprehensive, research-based, standardized classification of interventions that nurses perform.  It is useful for clinical documentation, communication of care across settings, integration of data across systems and settings, effectiveness research, productivity measurement, competency evaluation, reimbursement, and curricular design.  The Classification includes the interventions that nurses do on behalf of patients, both independent and collaborative interventions, both direct and indirect care.  An intervention is defined as any treatment, based upon clinical judgment and knowledge, that a nurse performs to enhance patient/client outcomes” (Butcher, Bulechek, Docterman, & Wagner, 2018, p.xii).   While an individual nurse will have expertise in only a limited number of interventions reflecting on her or his specialty, the entire classification captures the expertise of all nurses. NIC can be used in all settings (from acute care intensive care units, to home care, to hospice, to primary care) and all specialties (from critical care to ambulatory care and long term care).  While the entire classification describes the domain of nursing, some of the interventions in the classification are also done by other providers. NIC can be used by other non-physician providers to describe their treatments.

NIC interventions include both the physiological (e.g. Acid-Base Management) and the psychosocial (e.g. Anxiety Reduction).  Interventions are included for illness treatment (e.g. Hyperglycemia Management), illness prevention (e.g. Fall Prevention), and health promotion (e.g. Exercise Promotion).  Most of the interventions are for use with individuals but many are for use with families (e.g. Family Integrity Promotion), and some are for use with entire communities (e.g. Environmental Management: Community).  Indirect care interventions (e.g. Supply Management) are also included.  Each intervention as it appears in the classification is listed with a label name, a definition, a set of activities to carry out the intervention, and background readings.

The 565 interventions in NIC (7th ed.) are grouped into thirty classes and seven domains for ease of use.  The 7 domains are: Physiological: Basic, Physiological: Complex, Behavioral, Safety, Family, Health System, and Community.  Each intervention has a unique number (code).  The classification is continually updated with an ongoing process for feedback and review.  In the back of the book, there are instructions for how users can submit suggestions for modifications to existing interventions or propose a new intervention.  All contributors whose changes are included in the next edition are acknowledged in the book.  New editions of the classification are planned for approximately every 5 years.  The classification was first published in 1992, the second edition in 1996, the third edition in 2000, the fourth edition in 2004, the fifth edition in 2008, and the sixth edition in 2013, and the seventh edition in 2018. 

NIC is one of the standardized languages recognized 
by the American Nurses' Association (ANA). NIC is included in the Unified Medial Language Sustem (UMLS) in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and in the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL).  NIC is also included in The Joint Commission as one nursing classification system that can be used to meet the standard on uniform data.  NIC is mapped into SNOMED Clinical Term (SNOMED CT).

Hundreds of health care agencies have adopted NIC for use in standards, care plans, competency evaluation, and nursing information systems; nursing education programs are using NIC to structure curriculum and identify competencies of graduating nurses; authors of major texts are using NIC to discuss nursing treatments; and researchers are using NIC to study the effectiveness of nursing care.  Interest in NIC has been demonstrated in several other countries, notably Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.  NIC has been translated into Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish; other translations are in progress.

Source: Butcher, H. K., Bulechek, G. M.,  Dochterman, J. M., & Wagner, C. M. (Eds.). (2018). Nursing interventions classification (NIC) (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.


For further information contact:

Center for Nursing Classification & Clinical Effectiveness
The University of Iowa, College of Nursing 407 CNB
Iowa City IA 52242-1121
319-335-7051  Fax: 319-335-9990