Classification is a rather new idea in nursing. It began as a movement to develop a language that would describe the clinical judgments made by nurses. There was great support by clinicians for describing problems that nurses are educated and licensed to treat which are not in medical language systems. Currently there are major efforts nationally and internationally to develop a nursing language system that includes nursing diagnoses, interventions and outcomes. These are the basic elements in a nursing classification for practice, minimum data set for health statistics, in costing out patient care, developing computerized patient records, and for education and research.