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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 29, 2003

UI Nursing Center Wins International Award

The University of Iowa Center for Nursing Classification and Clinical Effectiveness will be honored with the Clinical Scholarship Award by nursing's honor society, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), at its 37th biennial convention in Toronto, Canada, on Nov. 2.

The award, established in 1997, is given in recognition of established excellence in integrating knowledge and clinical experience to achieve exemplary practice.

"The work of the Center has had an international impact on nursing practice, education and research because of its commitment to knowledge representation in nursing. Through its leadership, the Center influences the health of individuals and communities while simultaneously bringing together disciplines, academe, research and clinical practice in innovative ways," said May Wykle, president of STTI.

"We are pleased to accept this award on behalf of the many faculty, clinicians and students here and across the U.S. and in other countries who have participated in the ongoing research to develop and implement NIC and NOC. We also want to thank all those who have helped us through their financial support," responded Joanne Dochterman, Ph.D., UI professor of nursing and director of the Center.

The Center's languages, Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) and Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC), are consistent ways of describing nursing interventions and patient outcomes. Developed and tested through research at the Center in UI's College of Nursing, the languages are continually updated and are now being taught to nurses in many health care settings.

When nurses use the uniform languages to describe their work, the benefits are many. An immediate advantage is that nurses can describe to other caregivers what actions have been taken with a patient's care. And the languages provide a methodical coding system for electronic recordkeeping.

Beyond the individual bedside, a long-term and far-reaching benefit of standardizing nursing language is that it provides the groundwork for researchers to analyze interventions and outcomes across health care settings. If each time a nurse provides care to a patient and the care is described and recorded electronically using the appropriate NIC intervention and its corresponding code, over time and across settings, trends in care begin to emerge.

Similarly, when describing the results of nursing care using the appropriate NOC outcome, trends in patient outcomes emerge. With NIC/NOC, researchers can analyze the trends to see which interventions result in certain outcomes, and they can advise nurses on using interventions that have the best outcomes for patients.

Using standardized language will lead to nurses making decisions based on proven knowledge of what works best, rather than theories and past practices that haven't been put through the rigors of scientific investigation. Implementing the standardized languages of NIC and NOC is an initial step toward evidence-based practice becoming the norm for nursing care and one of the many ways the quality of patient care can be enhanced through nursing research.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

CONTACT: Bonnie McIntosh (319) 335-7003,