Standardized Language Use in Nursing Practice

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The purpose of this paper is to describe the use and importance of standardized language in nursing, with respect to the elements of NANDA (North American Nursing Diagnosis Association), NIC (Nursing Interventions Classification), and NOC (Nursing Outcomes Classification). The paper discusses the use of these elements based on a hospital setting in which the writer was involved. The discussion attempts to describe how the use of these elements of nursing language benefits the practice and improve the outcomes in nursing profession. To develop the description, this paper highlights the scenario and describes the knowledge, wisdom, data and information that guided the practitioner (Schoenfelder, 2004).

The scenario

I was involved in caring for Emily, a 72-year old woman residing in the city. Emily is diabetic. She retired from her teaching job 12 years ago and has been living with her 48-year old daughter and two grandchildren in a three-bedroom apartment six miles from the hospital setting. Emily drives herself to the hospital and does not need much support from her family. However, she has a problem with diet and prefers junk foods, which has increased her weight since she retired from her teaching career. She argues that the diet prescribed to her does not satisfy her, despite the fact she knows the dangers associated with her preferred food. She prefers medicine rather than special diet. Emily is able to self-administer insulin as per the nurse’s descriptions, but her health has recently been deteriorating due to the type of foodstuffs she has been taking. She is often in bad relationships with her daughter because she refuses to take the special diet prescribed to her, forcing the daughter to inform the nurses about the mother’s behavior. Nevertheless, she has no other problem with the three family members.

Two months ago, Emily fell in her room, injuring her ankle and wrist and obtained bruises in her face and arms. She was unable to drive herself to the hospital. Her daughter and a hired van driver brought her to the hospital, where interventions were made to treat the injuries. She had to be admitted. Nevertheless, it was noted that the level of her blood sugar was high, which made it necessary to carry a number of other diagnosis procedures to confirm her heath status. It was realized that she has a kidney problem due to kidney stones.

I as involved in performing all diagnosis procedures as well as dressing Emily’s injuries. I was also involved in providing Emily with the necessary comfort in her room, where three other elderly patients had been admitted.

NANDA, NIC, and NOC Elements

NANDA, NIC, and NOC Elements are used by practicing nurses in acute care as well as outpatient, rehabilitation, ambulatory and long-term care facilities. Nurses must obtain licenses for integrating these elements into electronics systems in order to support nursing care. Nursing diagnosis refers to making a clinical decision about a patient, family or community as well as their responses to some potential or actual healthcare problem (Iowa Outcomes Project, 2008). It provides the basis for selecting the interventions required to achieve the desired outcomes (NANDA, 2009). Various types of nursing diagnoses are recognized, including actual, risk and wellness diagnosis. In this case, we performed these types of diagnosis on Emily. First, we assessed her health by performing actual diagnosis, including an MRI scan and X-ray to determine how her bones had been affected by the incident. Secondly, we performed risk diagnosis to reduce the potential problems likely to occur due to risk factors as diabetes. We tested the level of blood sugar in her blood as well as kidney tests. We also performed wellness diagnosis by considering information given by the daughter and two grandchildren regarding Emily’s recent behavior.

Guiding Data

We obtained data regarding the health status of the patient as well as the family. We wanted to know the number of times Emily has been eating, the specific type of diet she takes and the number of insulin injections taken every day. In addition, we took data regarding the number of hospitalizations since she was diagnosed with the diabetes problem.


Information regarding Emily’s family and health was taken. In providing care, we worked as a team of nurses guided by information regarding the patient’s background, including her culture, ethnicity and beliefs. We were also concerned of Emily’s age, sex, education, and ability to inject insulin into her blood. Moreover, we were guided by information regarding Emily’s family and their knowledge about her conditions and factors such as age and their impact on her wellness (Van De Castle, 2003).


We were guided by the knowledge about the care for the elderly. In particular, evidence-based nursing was important in the practice. We sought information from various research-based articles in order to obtain knowledge about Emily’s conditions. We obtained research-based information from online libraries as well as the local library at the facility.


Emily’s condition improved significantly due to our interventions. We were able to apply both evidence-based care and standardized language to carry out diagnosis and medical interventions. We realized the need for these elements in delivering the required healthcare to the patients.


Iowa Outcomes Project (2008). Nursing outcomes classification (NOC). St. Louis: Mosby, Inc.

NANDA. (2009). Nursing Diagnosis: Definitions and Classifications 2009-2011. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley-Blackwell.

Schoenfelder, Deborah (2004). Nursing outcomes classification (NOC). Appendix F. (2004) St. Louis: Mosby, Inc.

Van De Castle, B. (2003) Comparisons of Nanda/NIC/NOC linkages between experts and nursing students. International Journal of Terminologies and Classifications 14(4), 349-357.

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NursingBird. "Standardized Language Use in Nursing Practice." April 7, 2022.