Professional Regulatory Nursing Bodies: International Variation in the Protection of the Public

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Professional nursing regulatory bodies, in many parts of the world, make clear reference to their duty to protect the public. Interestingly, data made public on the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) website indicate that nurses and midwives are seldom ‘taken to task’ using the formal regulations; some 0.2% of nurses are investigated regarding their fitness to practice (FTP) despite a number of publications outlining the reporting of those unfit to practice. In the UK the register for nursing is maintained by the NMC. The current registration system was adopted in 2004 and coincided with the published changes to the educational standards for nursing in the UK. Intention to remain on the register is declared by registrants on a yearly basis, and a formal declaration of fitness to practice and practice competence is declared every three years, along with supporting evidence. As a result, UK nurses are encouraged to develop a personal and professional portfolio, and the skills required to develop the portfolio are purportedly imparted early in all UK nurse education programs. In conclusion then, it seems that in some cases at least, the regulatory bodies’ purported attempts to safeguard the public have limited legitimacy or credibility.


To acquire a personal use copy of this work, contact John Cutcliffe at john.cutcliffe@wright.edu.



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