The title of “Nurse” should be protected by law and applied to and used only by those legally authorised to represent themselves as nurses and to practice nursing.
One of the most significant advantages of a statutory regulatory system is that it can offer protection to the title of “Nurse”.
Persons receiving health care and those employing nurses have a right to know whether they are dealing with a legally qualified nurse. Reserving the title “Nurse” for those who meet the legal standard enhances public protection by allowing the public to distinguish legally qualified nurses from other care providers. Persons who legitimately use the title “Nurse” are individually responsible and accountable for their competence and actions, and are required to adhere to professional codes of practice, ethics and conduct in conjunction with
standards, laws and regulations that direct practice.
Nurses need to be educated about their legal rights to the exclusive use of this title, and the ensuing accountability and responsibilities related to maintaining competence and practicing within the scope of practice assigned to those who are entitled by law to bear this title.
The public and employers also need to be educated and informed about the use of the title “Nurse”. In the absence of formal title protection, any individual could represent themselves as a “Nurse” without holding the required qualifications or demonstrating the necessary competence.
The purpose of restricting use of the title "Nurse" is to protect the public from individuals who are not licensed or authorised to practice as nurses, but may hold themselves out as providing health services that only nurses may provide.
The unlawful use of the title “Nurse” should result in criminal, civil, and/or administrative actions against the person and anyone who assists them in using the title “Nurse”.
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