Aim To provide a synthesis of literature on international policy concerning professional regulation in nursing and midwifery, with reference to routes of entry into training and pathways to licensure.
Background Internationally, there is evidence of multiple points of entry into initial training, multiple divisions of the professional register and multiple pathways to licensure.
Evaluation Policy documents and commentary articles concerned with models of initial training and pathways to licensure were reviewed. Item selection, quality appraisal and data extraction were undertaken and documentary analysis was performed on all retrieved texts.
Key issues Case studies of five Western countries indicate no single uniform system of routes of entry into initial training and no overall consensus regarding the optimal model of initial training.
Conclusions Multiple regulatory systems, with multiple routes of entry into initial training and multiple pathways to licensure pose challenges, in terms of achieving commonly-agreed understandings of practice competence.
Implications for nursing management The variety of models of initial training present nursing managers with challenges in the recruitment and deployment of personnel trained in many different jurisdictions. Nursing managers need to consider the potential for considerable variation in competency repertoires among nurses trained in generic and specialist initial training models.