Credentialing: Setting Standards for Advanced Nursing Practice
Susan H. Jacobs, RCpN, BScN, MA, PhD Candidate Dean, Faculty of Health Studies, Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawkes Bay
While the document Framework, Guidelines and Competencies for Post-Registration Nursing Education (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 1999) provides for approval of programmes preparing nurses for advanced practice, the related credentialing and titling of individual nurses in advanced practice has not been addressed. This article examines professional regulation with particular reference to advanced practice. As well as providing an overview of credentialing and other aspects of professional regulation, including licensure, certification, registration, and titling, the question of how much regulation, and by whom, will be explored. The paper has been prepared independently of the Nursing Council, and may not necessarily reflect the Council’s views.
Key words: Credentialing, advanced nursing practice, professional regulation
The issue of credentialing related to specialty and advanced nursing practice is gaining in significance and momentum as nurses come to appreciate both opportunities and barriers to developing their practice, as is well illustrated in the following quotation: …nursing strains to release its potential, to assert its values and capabilities, and to increase its voice and stature in the scheme of things. Regulation is central to this transformation. On the one hand it brings order to the movement, and on the other hand it provides social sanction for its objectives (Styles, cited in NZNO, 1998, p.5).