Inventory of Health Care Information Standards. Center for Nursing Classification, University of Iowa College of Nursing


Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC)

The Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) is a comprehensive, standardized language describing treatments that nurses perform in all settings and in all specialties. NIC interventions include both the physiological (e.g. Acid-Base Management) and the psychosocial (e.g. Anxiety Reduction). There are interventions for illness treatment (e.g. Hyperglycemia Management), illness prevention (e.g. Fall Prevention), and health promotion (e.g. Exercise Promotion). Interventions are for individuals or for families (e.g. Family Integrity Promotion). Indirect care interventions (e.g. Emergency Cart Checking) and some interventions for communities (e.g. Environmental Management: Community) are also included.

Each NIC intervention has a unique number which can facilitate computerization. NIC interventions have been linked with NANDA nursing diagnoses and the Omaha System problems and are in the process of being linked with Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC) patient outcomes . There is a form and a review system for submitting suggestions for new or modified interventions.

Developing Organization

The classification work is part of the Center for Nursing Classification at the University of Iowa College of Nursing. Research methods used to develop the Classification include content analysis, expert survey, focus group review, similarity analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, and field testing. More than 40 national nursing organizations have reviewed NIC and assisted with intervention development and validation and taxonomy construction and validation. The research, conducted by a large team of investigators, has been partially supported for the past seven years by the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health.

ANSI Accreditation

NIC is not a standard. It is a standardized language organized in a 3 level taxonomic structure for ease of use. It is published by Mosby Year Book who owns the copyright. Neither the University of Iowa which produces NIC nor Mosby is involved in the development of standards.


Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC)

Contact For More Information

William Donahue, Program Associate

Center for Nursing Classification

College of Nursing

The University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA 52240

Phone: 319-335-7054/7051

Fax: 319-335-7051




NIC contains 433 interventions each with a definition and a detailed set of activities that describe what it is a nurse does to implement the intervention. Each intervention is coded with a unique number. The interventions are organized in 26 classes and 7 domains. NIC facilitates the implementation of a Nursing Minimum Data Set. The use of NIC to plan and document care will facilitate the collection of large data bases which will allow us to study the effectiveness and cost of nursing treatments. The use of standardized language provides for the continuity of care and enhances communication among nurses and among nurses and other providers. NIC provides nursing with the treatment language that is essential for the computerized health care record. The domains and classes provide a description of the essence of nursing. NIC is helpful in representing nursing to the public and in socializing students to the profession. The coded interventions can be used in documentation and in reimbursement. The language is comprehensive and can be used by nurses in all settings and in all specialties.


NIC is available in the following print publication: Iowa Intervention Project (1996). Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC), 2nd ed. St. Louis: Mosby Year Book.

The following vendors are licensed to distribute NIC: ERGO, Mission, Kansas, 319: 384-3377.

JRS Clinical Technology, Stamford, CT, 203:322-1823.

In addition, there are numerous journal publications about NIC that detail aspects of development or use. An anthology of NIC publications and an implementation manual containing helpful guides and forms related to implementation from selected user agencies are available from the Center for Nursing Classification.

Indicator of Market Acceptance

NIC is recognized by the American Nurses' Association and is included in the National Library of Medicine's Metathesaurus for a Unified Medical Language. Both the Cumulative Index to Nursing Literature(CINAHL) and Silver Platter have added NIC to their nursing indexes. NIC is included in the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Health Care Organization's (JCAHO) as one nursing classification system that can be used to meet the standard on uniform data. The National League for Nursing has made a 40 minute video about NIC to facilitate teaching of NIC to nursing students and practicing nurses. Many health care agencies are adopting NIC for use in standards, care plans, and nursing information systems; nursing education programs are beginning to use NIC; authors of major texts are beginning to use 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, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

Level of Specificity

NIC groups approximately 13,000 nurse activities into 433 standardized intervention terms each with a unique code. NIC has numerous uses including in care planning, documentation, standards construction, critical paths, competency evaluation, job descriptions, curriculum and course syllabus construction. The use of NIC in nursing information systems allows for the collection of standardized data to be used in effectiveness research and in determining the costs of nursing.

Identifiable Costs

NIC is available in book form to individuals for a single fee, which in January 1997 was $35.95. In addition, licenses are granted to distribute NIC for commercial or institutional use by contacting Robin Carter at Mosby Year Book, 800:325-4177, ext. 4412 ( Licensing fees are determined by the number of users per site and are renewed with each new edition of the book (approximately every 4 years). Permission to use NIC in printed material can be obtained by contacting Liz Fathman at Mosby Year Book, 800:325-4177, ext. 4866 (