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The Impact of Standardized Nursing Terminology

The Impact of Standardized Nursing Terminology

Explain how you would inform this nurse (and others) of the importance of standardized nursing terminologies.

Standardized nursing terminologies are the act of having a common language used in different healthcare settings where nursing services are offered. In this scenario, the nurse on target a nurse that stated: “We document our care using the standardized nursing language but we do not fully understand why we do (Rutherford, 2008)”. This was a strong statement that proved a majority of nurses do not understand the importance of standardized nursing terminologies and the good thing is that standardized nursing terminologies are meant to be understood and applied by other nurses to promote coordination. Information is said to be power and the manner in which the nurse who made the statement together with others that they work with would get informed would go a long way in determining how they will perceive standardized nursing terminologies and make use of them.

According to Thede, & Schwirian, (2014); there are a number of ways that can be used to inform the nurse and others. One of these ways is by written and published an article that captures vital information about standardized nursing terminologies and their importance. Through reading an article, the nurses would get to understand the message. The article, for instance, the one written by Rutherford has covered ample information about the issue and hand and can be made available to all the nurses to bring them to understand why they have to use the standardized language in their electronic systems.

The second method of informing is through a presentation where a comprehensive presentation about the issue at hand would be prepared and the nurses invited to attend the presentation. A presentation would come as an effective method because it is practical and the nurses would have the chance to ask questions and receive instant responses (Thede, & Schwirian, 2014). This means that nurses can be able to see the different standardized terminologies and why they should be used. The more reason is that using a presentation, it is possible to create a practical and clear image of the situation in the case standardizes language is not applied so that the nurses can relate to their working situation. According to Ajayi, et al., (2015); healthcare facilities that have a standardized nursing terminology presentation do not even require assembling a meeting. The presentation is made available on the facility’s website and nurses are requested to login and learn hence making the system of informing easy, convenient, and effective. The more reason is that nurses within a facility have different working schedules and the strategy allows all of them to get informed and keep on reviewing the presentation at their convenient time without interfering with the work schedule.

According to Ajayi, et al., (2015); training and conferences about standardized nursing terminologies can also be used as a good way to inform the nurses. A majority of hospitals have been able to inform their nurses about standardized nursing language that the facility uses especially during orientation/induction training. The trainer or the conference speaker can focus on elaborating about standardized nursing terminologies and their importance in a manner that all nurses can understand. This means by the time nurses are being hired, they can be informed and for those that were already in employment by the time the standardized language was being implemented to be introduced to the idea and informed about its benefits.  Training and conference are an effective means of informing because they would grant nurses ample time to be trained and also share among themselves on how they can make use of standardized language to improve on effectiveness and efficiency levels.

Describe the benefits and challenges of implementing standardized nursing terminologies in nursing practice.

According to Tastan, et al., (2014); implementing standardized nursing terminologies comes with its fair share of benefits mixed with challenges. It is a process and project that benefits the healthcare facility massively and at the same time can bring a lot of chaos. One of the benefits as stated by Rutherford, (2008); is that standardized language helps in improving communication among nurses. Improved communication is realized because nurses have a common language that they use something that makes it easy for them to understand each other better. For instance, all the nurses using the same electronic system understand what the other nurse means whenever a common terminology is used. It is important to note that nurses work in shifts and when common terminologies are used, the other nurse on the next shift would only require reading through and getting the entire message in an accurate and reliable manner.

The second benefit is that standardized nursing terminologies help in increasing the visibility of nursing terminologies. In the nursing profession, nurses are required to state exactly what they do or have done to every patient. Sometimes the services are long, complex, and demanding to the point that explaining them can lead to confusion. Common terminologies help in putting a long statement into a few words that explain the entire services that nurses. Hence, the tasks of a nurse become more visible with limited efforts being put in place. Thirdly, it helps in improving patient care because of the ease of handing over and common language ensuring that nurses understand each other. This is important because every nurse that takes over from the previous nurse does not have to get confused but rather proceed from where the other nurse stopped. This translates to mean that standardized nursing terminologies help in reducing nursing errors hence upgrading patient safety.

According to Conrad, et al., (2012); there are three major barriers that come with the implementation of a standardized nursing terminologies system. These barriers are; system barriers, NP user barriers, and the EHR operational barriers. On the system barriers, Conrad, et al., (2012); claims that implementing the system comes with challenges like high implementation and maintenance cost and also attracts other expenses like training to keep all nurses informed. It is also demanding in the sense that it requires ample time and skilled human resources to document. Also, in the case of system breakdown, it brings the nursing operation to a standstill a situation that would affect the health of the patients. On the NP user barrier, all nurses need to be computer literate for them to work effectively with the system and also understand the common language. Failure to have the skills and competence would lead to miscommunication and confusion that would increase nursing errors instead of reducing them. Lastly, HER operational barriers entail the complex mapping of terminologies references and the system also must have the reporting capability to facilitate smooth transactions from taking place.







Ajayi, A., Adeola, R., Daniel, O., Stephen, N., Gusen, N., Ajayi, A., … & Gusen, N. (2015). Knowledge and utilization of standardized nursing language among nurses in Jos university teaching hospital plateau state, Nigeria.

Conrad, D., Hanson, P. A., Hasenau, S. M., & Stocker‐Schneider, J. (2012). Identifying the barriers to use of standardized nursing language in the electronic health record by the ambulatory care nurse practitioner. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 24(7), 443-451.

Tastan, S., Linch, G. C., Keenan, G. M., Stifter, J., McKinney, D., Fahey, L., … & Wilkie, D. J. (2014). Evidence for the existing American Nurses Association-recognized standardized nursing terminologies: A systematic review. International journal of nursing studies, 51(8), 1160-1170.

Thede, L., & Schwirian, P. (2014). Informatics: The Standardized Nursing Terminologies: A National Survey of Nurses’ Experience and Attitudes—SURVEY II: Participants’ Perception of the Helpfulness of Standardized Nursing Terminologies in Clinical Care. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(1).

Rutherford, M. (2008) Standardized Nursing Language: What Does It Mean for Nursing Practice?



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