To describe and analyze the current nursing regulations across countries in the Region of the Americas.
A country comparative analysis was carried out by gathering information from the ministries of health, nursing schools, councils, associations, and boards in 2018. The main categories evaluated were type of regulatory bodies, requirements for initial professional registration, and registration renewal.
All countries regulate the nursing profession through a regulatory body. Competency exams for initial registration are required in the United States, Canada, and most Caribbean countries. Registration renewal is required in 54.3% of the countries. Continuing education is required for professional registration renewal in the United States, Canada, and 53% of Caribbean countries. Labor hours are required in the United States and Canada.
Regulations promote and protect professional integrity. The Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization recommends that countries make efforts to evaluate competency and training, consider the use of comp