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What is a Nurse: Is there an International Consensus?

Carr-Hill, Roy and Currie, Elizabeth (2012) What is a Nurse: Is there an International Consensus? International Nursing Review, 59 (3).

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Aim. This paper presents a discussion of the need for standardisation in definitions of different categories of nurse internationally. Background. Historical experience and health service modernisation partly account for the variation seen in definitions of what a ‘nurse’ is from country to country. As clinical roles evolve, often in poorly controlled and ad hoc ways, the question of ‘what is a nurse?’ may only become more confusing. Data Sources. OECD Health Data for 2010, literature from the International Council of Nurses and international literature on ‘skill mix’ and ‘scope of practice’ were consulted for this paper. Discussion. It is unclear if international disparities in nursing provision apparent in, for e.g. OECD health data, demonstrate real differences in staffing patterns or simply reflect the wide variations in understanding and use of terms for different categories of nurse. Implications for Nursing. Standardisation of definitions of categories of nurse internationally should reduce confusion and allow better understanding of patterns of nurse staffing and the effect these have on patient outcomes. Conclusion. Until proper consensus is reached on what a nurse is and does, any skill mix or role boundary exercises will only ever be locally or at best nationally relevant and not useful outside of that. If nursing qualifications are to be valid even across the EU, then recommended standards such as those of ICN, must be specified in terms of what different nursing practitioners actually can do, and their responsibilities and roles within that

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: Health Services Research, Health Systems Reform, Nursing, Nursing Classification, Nursing Roles, Recruitment and Retention, Skill Mix, Workforce Issues, Workforce Organization
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 02:09
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:01
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