Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the draft ISO reference terminology model (RTM) for nursing actions. Nursing RTM models attempt to include concepts that are universally represented in nursing documentation to improve the depiction of nursing practice in computerized systems. Method: Content analysis was used to decompose interventions into words and phrases, which were then mapped to the six model categories used to represent nursing actions in the draft ISO RTM. The decomposition of interventions was applied to nurses' documentation of pain interventions entered into a clinical information system. Findings: Consistent with the ISO standard requirements, all (100.00%) of the interventions contained an 〈action〉 ISO model semantic categories are contained within single angle brackets 〈〉; semantic domains are contained within double angle brackets 〈〈〉〉. 1 word or phrase and a 〈〈target〉〉. Additional findings are discussed in relation to earlier studies of terminology models. Conclusions: It is recommended that terminology and information system developers consider this model in their ongoing system development, evaluation, maintenance, and revisions. Further evaluation of the ISO RTM for nursing will contribute to the goals of this specific model and the harmonization and integration with other health care models. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.