Health workforce

Global standards for the initial education of professional nurses and midwives

Nursing and Midwifery - Human Resources for Health

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Publication details

Number of pages: 40
Publication date: 2009
WHO reference number: WHO/HRH/HPN/08

The need for global standards has arisen for several reasons – the increasing complexities in health-care provision, the increasing number of health professionals at different levels, and the need to assure more equitable access to health care.

The great variation in the levels of initial education for professional nurses and midwives around the world can no longer be neglected. Many countries still consider initial education programmes at secondary school level to be sufficient, while some countries specify university-level education as the minimum point of entry to the health professions for nurses and midwives.

This document describes the context and process followed in developing the global standards, and presents the standards with their respective goals.