ICN uses the word regulation in a highly positive sense to refer to all of those legitimate and appropriate means--governmental, professional, private, and individual -- whereby order, consistency, identity and control are brought to the profession. The profession and its members are defined; the scope of practice is determined; standards of education and of ethical and competent practice are set; and systems of accountability are established through these means.
This broad approach to regulation touches on a wide range of areas important to: those directly involved in the regulatory functions, practising nurses, other health professionals, policy makers and the public. With the rapid internationalisation of the world and creation of trade blocks, regulation as it affects mobility of persons and services is being scrutinised by international groups such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Today the profession needs a global mechanism that will be a vehicle for continual exchange and rapid action when necessary. The regulation network being created by ICN to serve as a forumfor the exchange of ideas, experience and expertise in regulatory issues affecting the nursing profession. Interested nurses and others are able to communicate, pursue their common interests and create a vital resource bank for regulation.