Is Nurse Specialist in Taiwan a Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist?
Taiwan nurse specialist system was established in 2000, under the structure exactly the same as that of physician specialist system in 1986. The legislators did not stipulate a new nurse specialist act; instead they provide a new provision of nurse specialist under section 24 of the Nursing Personnel Act. In this way the licensure of a nurse specialist practitioner shall not be determined by the Examination Yuan in accordance with Article 86 of the Constitution, which articulates that a professional license qualification shall be examined and approved by the Examination Yuan. Nurse specialist license will be approved by the competent authority as physician specialists. It is obvious that nurse specialist is not new specialized profession regulated by the Constitution. The background of the establishment of the nurse specialist profession was the shortage of physicians in those years and the establishment of medical assistants to help physisins was refused by the legislators. Therefore, the nurse specialist system promoted by the Ministry of Health is based on the American nurse practitioner or NP system, which practices medine in addition to nursing practice. It is not based on American clinical nurse specialist or CNS system, which practices only nursing practice. In order to allow the nurse specialist to carry out part of medical practice, the Administration revised the Nursinf Personnel Act in 2015 to allow nurse specialist to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. However, this amendment seems not beyond the regulations of the proviso of Article 28 of the Physicians Act, which provides that nurses can perform medical procedures under the direction of medical practitioners.