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Quality indicators for initial licensure and discipline in nursing laws in South Korea and North Carolina

Authors

  • K.K. Kim RN, PhD,

    Associate Professor of Nursing, Corresponding author
    1. Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, South Korea
    • Correspondence address: Dr Ki Kyong Kim, School of Nursing, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, 162 Ilsan-dong, Wonju City, Kangwon-do 220-701, South Korea. Tel: 82-33-741-0380; Fax: 82-33-743-9490; E-mail: kyongkk@yonsei.ac.kr.

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  • D.K. Kjervik JD, RN, FAAN,

    Professor Emeritus of Nursing
    1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • B. Foster RN, PhD

    Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing
    1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • Funding: This study is not supported by any funding or grant source.
  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflict of interest is declared by the authors.

Abstract

Background

The Korean regulatory framework of nursing licensure reflects that of the USA, but its content differs in some of the powers related to quality assurance.

Aim

This article compares regulatory quality indicators and describes core standards in nursing regulations that are related to both initial licensure and discipline for three groups: the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the North Carolina and the South of Korea.

Methods

A descriptive, comparative law design is used to examine the differences and similarities in the quality indicators and core standards found in three documents: the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Model Act, the North Carolina Nursing Practice Act and the Korean Medical Service Act for registered nurses.

Results

The findings indicate that ten quality indicators and two standards appear in study objects. Although most of the quality indicators are common to all documents, some differences are found in terms of the scope of criminal background checks and the range of grounds for disciplinary action.

Limitations

These findings cannot be generalized in the USA because although the North Carolina nursing act was selected as an example of US nursing laws, nursing laws differ somewhat across states.

Conclusions

This comparative study shows a clear opportunity to develop indicators that acknowledge the important areas of competence and good moral character and how they can improve patient safety in Korea.

Implications for nursing and health policy

This study provides recommendations for Korean nursing legislative redesign and pointers for other jurisdictions to consider.

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