Contextual Factors for Establishing Nursing Regulation in Iran: A Qualitative Content Analysis

Document Type: Original article


1 Health Policy Research Center, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Nursing Registration Center, Ministry of Health and Medical Education Tehran, Iran


Background: Professional regulation is one of the strategies of the governments which protect the public’s right. Nursing practice is not an exception; hence, it is regulated to protect the public against nursing services’ adverse effects. Although modern nursing in Iran started from 100 years ago, documents show that there was no regulation mechanism for nursing in Iran till 2016. Hence, this study was conducted to illuminate the contextual factors affecting the nursing regulation process in Iran.Methods: To explore the contextual elements of late establishment of nursing registration as an important part of nursing regulation, we applied directed qualitative content analysis. For this purpose, all the historical events and related materials including articles published in scientific journals, gray literature, statements, news articles, and interviews in the period of 2006-2016 were reviewed and analyzed by expert panel and categorized in predetermined groups.Results: Pooled analysis data showed four contributing elements that affected the emerging nursing regulation in Iran. These elements include 1) cultural determinants, 2) structural determinants, 3) situational determinants, and 4) international or exogenous determinants. Conclusion: Nursing regulation is an important health policy issue in Iran which needs to be facilitated by contextual factors. These factors are complicated and country-specific. Political willingness should be accompanied by nursing association willingness to establish and improve nursing regulation. Other researches are recommended to explore actors and process and content of nursing regulation policy in Iran.