Voltaire once wrote that common sense isn’t so common. Indeed, sometimes bold ideas—the unconventional ones that pose the greatest challenges—also make the most sense.

In October, I attended the first ever International Nurse Regulator Collaborative (INRC) Symposium. Made up of nurse regulators from Australia, Canada (British Columbia and Ontario), Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States, the INRC works together to share knowledge and ultimately, to become better and more effective in our work. The symposium is just one of our efforts to increase connections and opportunities for collaboration across the globe.

October’s conference focused on how models of public protection and regulation have evolved in recent years. It offered a great opportunity to explore common approaches to the regulation of nurses and nursing practice. Following one of the symposium sessions, participants were asked to share one or two “bold ideas” for doing things differently at an international level. Lots of ideas were shared — creating a common framework for entry-level nursing education, taking a risk governance approach to our regulatory work and re-tooling our quality assurance or professional performance programs and services.

But one bold idea that really struck a chord with me, was that we ought to be looking at how to support an international licensure or global approach to nursing registration. Truthfully, I wonder about this all the time. Why do we continue to silo our licensure or registration at the international level? What would it take to get us to adopt the same approach at the early stages of an application? How do we decide what constitutes the right assessment approach? It is a bold idea and, admittedly, one that is fraught with challenges and undeniable hurdles. But I was excited to hear that I am not the only one wondering about how it might work, and what it could look like if we were to think more globally about nursing regulation. More and more, as regulators, we have an important role to play in taking forward bold ideas. Sometimes common approaches just make common sense.

Collaboration at the international level takes time. Nonetheless, CRNBC is working on common approaches to registration at the provincial and national level. Check out the following to learn more:

A new national assessment service for internationally educated nurses

Introducing the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) for internationally educated practitioners (IEPs) initiative

Photo above

Left to right, back row:
Tanya Vogt, Executive Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
Jo Walton, Deputy Chairperson, Nursing Council of New Zealand
Shirley Brekken, President, National Council State Boards of Nursing
Kathy Apple, CEO, National Council State Boards of Nursing
Pauline Tan, Chief Nursing Officer and Registrar, Singapore Nursing Board
Puey Ee Kwek, Executive Secretary, Singapore Nursing Board
Soh Chin Tan, Director of Nursing. KK Women’s and Children’s’ Hospital, Singapore

Left to Right, front row:
Anne Coghlan, Executive Director and CEO, College of Nurses of Ontario
Cynthia Johansen, CEO/Registrar, CRNBC
Lynette Cusack, Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
Carolyn Reed, Chief Executive, Registrar, Nursing Council of New Zealand
Christine Penney, Deputy Registrar and Director of PPQA, CRNBC