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Keywords:

  • UKCC;
  • specialist practice;
  • specialist education;
  • professional regulation;
  • professionalization

In 1994, the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC) completed its framework for post-registration education and practice. The UKCC’s strategy was based upon the two principles of compulsory re-registration for all practising nurses and graduate-level (or equivalent) entry to specialist practice. It may be seen as the culmination of a gradual process of professionalization, as well as a response to changes in the organization and delivery of health care in the late 20th century. This paper uses both primary and secondary sources to trace the development of the new strategy, and its wider implications for the profession.