A recent (April, 1998) article in Nursing Outlook by McCloskey, Bulechek, and Donahue described a Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) monograph that is now available, identifying interventions that are core to each specialty. The Classification includes 433 physiologic and psychosocial interventions which are grouped into 6 domains and 27 classes. Although the NIC was designed to define and describe interventions performed by nurses in all settings and specialties, this recent survey sought to identify interventions considered core to each area of specialty practice. I noted the National Gerontological Nursing Association participated in the survey and thought the core interventions they identified (see Sidebar) would be of interest to the readers of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing.
McCloskey et al. (1998) note that the core interventions by specialty practice area can be used in staff development activities and for evaluations. They further suggest that nurses
who work in the specialty should be competent in the interventions that are core to the specialty; in fact, they might be expected to be expert at these interventions (p. 71).
The authors also indicate that interventions which were listed as core to only one or two specialties (in the case of gerontological nursing, Abuse Protection: Elder is one such specialized intervention) may trigger the need for referral when these interventions are required by clients. Interestingly, interventions such as Cognitive Stimulation, Distraction, and Memory Training were listed as core by only the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, the American Society of Pain Management Nurses, and the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, respectively. Yet, as a nurse who works primarily with people with dementia (albeit specialized within gerontological nursing), I may use these interventions on a daily basis.
The NIC system is an important effort in communicating the nature of nursing in different practice areas. I would encourage, as do the authors, gerontological nurses to participate in this process by building and evaluating clinical databases that use the NIC interventions and by submitting new interventions appropriate for the care of older adults. A form and a review system exist for submitting suggestions for new or modified interventions. These will then be reviewed by the NIC research team for possible inclusion in the next edition of the classification system. In so doing, gerontological nurses can help shape the nature of their practice, information and education systems, certification, competency and licensing examinations, and research and theory construction.
Kathleen C. Buckwatter
- McCloskey, J.C., Bulechek, G.M., & Donahue, W. (1998). Nursing interventions core to specialty practice. Nursing Outlook, 46(2), 67-76.