Implementing ICNP

The project has obtained an official permission to employ the ICNP terminology in the learning materials, which will facilitate terminological unity and contribute to creating highly-relevant learning content. An announcement about cooperation together with project website link with the project was made on the ICNP website (


ICN definition

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation that unites 130 national nurses associations which makes more than 16 million nurses worldwide. It was founded in 1899 and nowadays is recognized as the world’s first and widest reaching international organisation for healthcare professionals.

ICN works on both international and national levels with the aim to ensure good quality of nursing care, work on health policies and the advancement of nursing knowledge. It also aims to demonstrate nursing worldwide as a respected  and competent profession.

With passing time ICN established a number of networks and connections to professionals from the field from national, regional and international nursing and non-nursing organisations. The federation cooperates with e.g. the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organisation, the World Bank and a range of international non-governmental organisations.

ICN – main objectives

  • to represent nursing profession throughout the world
  • to advocate for nursing professionals
  • to advance the nursing profession
  • to contribute to services delivery on high level
  • to cooperate with interested stakeholders across the profession
  • to achieve better health outcomes
  • to promote ethical nursing practice
  • to contribute to health policy advancements
  • to contribute to social, economic and education by designing reliable policies
  • to create networks of professional practice that will influence socio-economic welfare
  • to make alliance with governmental and non-governmental agencies, foundations, regional groups, national associations, and individuals

Three Pillars of ICN

International Council of Nurses focuses its actions in three main areas that are called Three Pillars of ICN:

  1. Professional Nursing Practice (e.g. eHealth, Ethics and Human Rights, Communicable Diseases, Non-communicable Diseases, Primary Health Care, Immunisation/Vaccines, Mental Health)
  2. Nursing Regulation (e.g.  Education, Counterfeit medicines, Women’s and Children’s Health)
  3. Socio-economic Welfare for Nurses (e.g. Occupational health and safety, Human resources planning and policy, Career development, International trade in professional services, Ageing)

ICNP ® definition

The International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) has been created by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) as an international standard of formal terminology used in nursing practice.  The product, with its first edition in 1993, provides a dictionary of terms and expressive relationships that nurses can use to describe and report their practice in a systematic way.

The idea of international classification of nursing practice emerged in 1989 when some nursing professionals decided on the need to classify and group specialist terminology that is used to describe nursing interventions and actions on the basis of nursing interview.

Within the years three categories were introduced:

  • nursing phenomena
  • nursing interventions
  • nursing outcomes

ICNP® is intended for use by and for nurses. It is a rich and comprehensive resource that nurses can use to describe and report in detail the things that they assess and the things that they provide.

ICNP® database is used to support care and effective decision-making, promote high level of  nursing education, research and works on health policy.

The first written version of ICNP® appeared in 2005. The main version is created in English; yet there are a few translations to other languages, aimed at the countries where the ICNP® standards have already been introduced (please check at: ICN emphasizes that good-quality translations are indispensable for successful ICNP® implementation. It is also important to notice that there can be only one national version of ICNP® standards.

ICNP ® – benefits for HELP

  • created in English – reliable source of information for us
  • translated into several national languages – German, Polish, Spanish needed within our consortium (please, check at:
  • it will help us prepare key words lists with IPA at the beginning of every module
  • it will help us prepare short list of expressions at the end of every module
  • inspiration to create communicative exercises as ICNP® is based on state-of-the-art terminology standards
  • using ICNP terminology in countries where there is no direct translation to national languages requires careful discussion with nursing experts
  • it shall be guaranteed that terminology used corresponds to B1/B2 CEFR standards