Standardized Terminology in Nursing Informatics

Standardized terminology and nomenclature in nursing informatics are predominantly aimed at enabling communication, which, in turn, is supposed to support multiple fields of nursing activities, including “practice, education, management, and research” (Casey, 2015, p. 119). Technically, no currently existing nomenclature is exhaustive, and more work is needed before a universal language for nursing informatics can be presented (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017).

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However, certain examples can be offered. For instance, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a commonly used terminology that uses codes for specific diagnoses (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017, p.280). Moreover, there are nursing nomenclatures. For example, the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association is a standardized nomenclature used for diagnosing, and the Nursing Interventions Classification focuses specifically on nursing interventions (Thede & Schwirian, 2014). If such languages are integrated into documentation (especially electronic documentation), their use by nurses is facilitated.

In my personal practice, we use standardized terminology, which results in improved intra- and interprofessional communication. For instance, when using ICD, we ensure the understanding between nurses, doctors, and any other healthcare workers who are involved in the process of care. Therefore, both the modern literature in the field and my personal experience indicate that standardized terminology is helpful in advanced nursing practice.

However, it is apparent that the mentioned examples, as well as other nomenclatures, are not fully integrated: there is no single healthcare language that would be employed worldwide. As a result, terminologies are continually compared to provide the healthcare professionals who use different languages with an opportunity to communicate (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). In other words, for the time being, the standardized terminology is not fully unified, and the future may see the creation of more standardized terminologies.


Casey, A. (2015). Gender issues across the globe. In K. Hannah, P. Hussey, M. Kennedy & M. Ball (Eds.), Introduction to nursing informatics (pp. 97-144). London, UK: Springer London.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Thede, L., & Schwirian, P. (2014). Informatics: The standardized nursing terminologies: A national survey of nurses’ experience and attitudes—SURVEY II: Participants’ perception of the helpfulness of standardized nursing terminologies in clinical care. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(1). Web.

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