International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP)


WHO accepted ICNP within the WHO-FIC to extend coverage of the domain of nursing practice as an essential and complementary part of professional health services. ICNP classifies patient data and clinical activity in the domain of nursing and can be used for decision-making and policy development aimed at improving health status and health care delivery. ICNP can improve communication and statistical reporting practices across health services. ICNP can be used as a classification, in conjunction with other WHO-FIC classifications, wherever such care is provided.

Classification structure

ICNP has a formal foundation that is used to compose and represent diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes in a polyhierarchy. A number of subsets are available to provide precoordinated concepts for select health priorities, including nursing outcome indicators, paediatric pain management, palliative care, and partnering with patients and families to promote adherence to treatment.

Administrative status

Creation date: 1996 First as ICNP Alpha version
Last date changed: Updated June 2017 as the 2017 release of ICNP
Next update planned: June 2019.

Reference documents

A number of reference documents are available at:


ICNP is available in several languages. Information on translations is updated regularly and available at:

Page updated on 4 September 2017