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What's in a name? The importance of definition and comparable data.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23406240     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
BACKGROUND: The advent of a more planned approach to workforces has led to increased interest in knowing exactly what workforces do, how much they cost and who their members are. Heightened interest in health human resources has highlighted the need for accurate definitions of nurse and nursing role and emphasized the importance of accurate, valid and timely workforce data.
AIM: This commentary addresses some of the statements made in this issue by Currie and Carr-Hill (pp. 67-74) who ask, 'What is a nurse? Is there an international consensus?' General remarks about the importance of nursing health services data are also provided.
DISCUSSION: It is not surprising that nursing is struggling with standardization of definitions and role descriptions within and across countries. Globalization has intensified the need to understand complex relationships between systems such as education, finance and health that often differ from country to country.
CONCLUSION: Professional and/or regulatory nursing associations can facilitate standardization of definitions and strengthen data collection; both of which are imperative. The more titles we create, the more difficult it becomes to have a generalized taxonomy of nursing services locally, nationally and internationally. Working closely with agencies like the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization may lead to a much-needed consensus on common indicators within and across countries. Given the large size of the nursing workforce worldwide, nurses can play an important role in the creation of comparable data that can be used to set policies that will affect the delivery of quality health care.
Andrea Baumann
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International nursing review     Volume:  60     ISSN:  1466-7657     ISO Abbreviation:  Int Nurs Rev     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-02-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7808754     Medline TA:  Int Nurs Rev     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  75-7     Citation Subset:  IM; N    
Copyright Information:
© 2013 The Author. International Nursing Review © 2013 International Council of Nurses.
Global Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; WHO Collaborating Centre in Primary Care Nursing and Health Human Resources, Hamilton, Canada; Nursing Health Services Research Unit, McMaster University Site, Hamilton, Canada.
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