Nurse Migration in an Increasingly Interconnected World: The Case for Internationalization of Regulation of Nurses and Nursing Regulatory Bodies

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Psychiatric/Mental Health nursing has a long history of professional self-regulation; nevertheless, interest in how governments protect consumers of health care from poor or dangerous practice(s) is on the increase. Correspondingly, there have been calls, in several parts of the world, for greater watchfulness and due diligence from regulatory bodies. Mindful of the concept of globalization and the unequivocal data regarding the significant increase in the migration of nurses, it is difficult to ignore/deny the reality of an increasingly mobile and connected international nursing workforce. However, the extant literature also indicates the existence of significant disparities between countries and even states/provinces within countries as to the enforcement of professional regulation. What this means is that decisions made by one regulatory body can have a direct impact on the standard(s) of nursing quality and practice in a country on the opposite side of the world. As a result, the authors attempt to advance the debate that there is a clear need to reconcile these positions, and they introduce the argument for the creation of an international oversight body. Using case study material, the relevant theoretical and policy literature in this area (such as it is), and by drawing on examples of analogous oversight bodies from other areas, we draw attention to the need to create a genuinely international body for the oversight of nurse regulation.


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