I write to update the information in Dr. Stevens' 1997 article, “Licensure, Certification, and Accreditation.” Since this article was published, regulation of the nursing profession in the United Kingdom (UK) has changed in two ways. One change has been that nurse education is now offered under the auspices of colleges and universities, in a three year nursing program leading to qualification, which occurs when one meets the academic standards required for completing a nursing program. Qualification occurs in one of four areas: adult, children, mental health, and learning difficulties.
The process of registration has remained the same in that registration occurs almost immediately after qualification. Registration is an acknowledgment of attaining the standard of practical and intellectual skills which enable the nurse to accept the accountability which is part of nursing practice. To be registered in the UK, one must pay a fee; but there is no board examination.
The other change regards certification which is recognition of post registration study. These post registration certificate courses/modules are now taken after a nursing program; they may last almost as long as an academic year. These courses/modules include both specialised clinical content, such as renal nursing, and additional role area development, such as student mentorship.
Practicing Registered Nurse Adult (RNA)
United Kingdom (UK)