The use of the international classification of nursing practice for capturing community-based nursing practice

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Loewen, Elizabeth M.
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Improvements to the use of information in community health practice will not occur without the development of standardized methods of collecting and classifying practice. Nursing and community health practice have been noticeably absent or limited in most of the large-scale studies examining existing classification systems. This study examined the ability of one classification system for nursing practice, the International Classification of Nursing Practice, to capture documented community health practice. This retrospective descriptive study examined public health and community health nursing documentation randomly drawn from 81 charts in a community health care setting. Documented practice was reduced into minimum concepts and subsequently matched to terms in the ICNP Of the 566 concepts identified in the text, 68.9% (390) matched with terms in the ICNP as exact or conceptual matches. The remaining 31.1% (176) concepts did not match with terms in the ICNP. This 68.9% level of match is consistent with tests of other commonly used classification systems and indicates that the ICNP has potential for classifying community-based nursing practice however, the unmatched 31.1% suggests the need for further development and testing and reflects difficulties in classifying community level and group interventions. Nursing phenomenon/diagnosis were stated in only 16 of the 81 charts reviewed and over half of the data transcribed was not included in the study suggesting the need for further emphasis on nursing documentation at the practice level.