The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health is a task that focused on exploring the roles, responsibilities, and education of nurses so as to identify how to make appropriate and effective changes to improve the healthcare system of the US (IOM, 2011). This report aims at introducing major reforms that will ensure improvement in the complex healthcare system of the US. To achieve this, the report focused on four key areas as follows. First, Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training (IOM, 2011). Second, nurses need to acquire higher education and training within a quality education system to enhance academic progression. Third, nurses, physicians, and other care providers should collaborate to redesign the US healthcare system. Fourth, there should be improved methods of data collection and information infrastructure is necessary for an effective workforce. The report by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation pictures a reconceptualized nursing roles, strategies for redesigning the education system of nursing, innovativeness in nursing practice, methods of attracting and retaining nurses who are equipped with effective skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality services that improve patient outcome.
The IOM report examines how the system can be reformed and makes effective recommendations that are important to nursing practice, nursing workforce development, and nursing education as follows. First, the report is important to nursing practice since it advocates for the removal of all barriers to the scope of practice. The removal of barriers mean the expansion of Medicare program, increased funding of nursing education, and reform of scope of practice regulations (IOM, 2011). This is important to nursing practice since it will allow all the registered nurses (RNs) to apply their knowledge and skills on the basis of their education and training level. The lifelong learning as recommended by this report is important since it equips nurses with the necessary competencies for health delivery. Second, IOM report is important to nursing practice since it advocates for the increased collaboration of nurses, physicians, and other care providers in both private and public healthcare sectors (IOM, 2011). According to D’Eramo and Puckett (2014), increased collaboration enhances sharing of information about patients and promotes evidence-based practice that enhances service delivery.
Third, the IOM report is important to nursing workforce development since it recommends for the implementation of strategies that support the completion of a transition-to-practice program by nurses (Sherwood, 2015). Residency programs will enable nurses to complete their residency programs after their advanced or pre-licensure practices. The report tasks the state boards of nursing, healthcare organizations, and other philanthropic organizations across the US to work together in facilitating workforce development. Third, IOM report recommends for the increase in the number of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80% by the year 2020 (IOM, 2011). The implementation of this recommendation will significantly boost nursing education in the US. There will be an increase in the funding of nursing education to equip nurses with effective knowledge and skills to meet the current demands of diverse patients in the country. This is tightly linked to the doubling of the number of nurses, which is an effective strategy to ensure that there is an appropriate nurse to patient ratio.
According to the Campaign for Action website, state-based action coalitions provide a supportive role to the efforts of the Federal, State, and Local governments in implementing the recommendations highlighted in the IOM report. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report proposes for a campaign for action that should be undertaken by Federal, State, local governments, and other stakeholders to reform the US the healthcare sector. This recommendation led to the formation of state-based action coalitions with the aim of advancing the goals of Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. They advance the goals of Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action as follows.
First, the state-based action coalition fund nursing education and nursing practice in the various states that they are based. Action Coalitions consist of both private and public funders who collaborate with one another to provide high-quality education and lifelong learning for workforce development. Second, state-based action coalitions carry out research to enhance evidence-based nursing practice in their respective states. According to the IOM report, better data collection and an improved information infrastructure are key to reforming and improving nursing practice in the US. In this regard, the state-based action coalitions carry out research studies to identify gaps in practice and formulate an innovative solution to the gaps to enhance nursing practice. Third, state-based action coalitions provide insurance services to healthcare service consumers living in their states. Despite the implementation of OBAMA Care and Affordable Care Act, there are is an estimated 27 millions of Americans who are uninsured (Buffery, 2013). In response to this, coalition actions provide insurance services at affordable costs to citizens of their respective states in an effort to boost the quality of nursing practice. Fouth, state-based action coalitions advance the future of nursing by carrying out health campaigns and acting as advocates for reforms in the healthcare sector in their respective states.
Two Initiatives Spearheaded by Your State’s Action Coalition
Building healthy communities: The Alabama Health Action Coalition has put up projects that are aimed at educating the citizens of Alabama on wellness and healthy living. Alabama action coalition is working together with the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) educate nurses on health and wellness.
Easing of nurse restriction: In order to enhance nursing practice, the Alabama state-based action coalition has successfully campaigned for the easing of nurse restrictions and the declaration of the month of October as the Health Literacy Month.
The building of healthy communities enhances nursing profession by equipping nurses and citizens with information to live a healthy lifestyle. This helps in curbing some health issues related to lifestyles such as diabetes and overweight and obesity. Easing nurse restrictions enhance nursing profession by giving freedom to nurse practitioners implement their skills according to their education and training levels.
Cost: The huge financial cost is a major barrier to the successful implementation of these initiatives. This barrier can be overcome by a collaboration of both private and public funders to source finances to fund the initiative (Jones & Greer, 2013).
Shortage of nurses: There is a limited number of nurses as compared to the large population of Alabama citizens, and this hampers the successful education of the citizens. This barrier can be overcome by recruiting more nurse practitioners in Alabama.
In summary, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explored how the education, roles, and responsibilities of nurses in the US should change to meet the incessantly increasing healthcare cost and demand. IOM Future of Nursing report is important to the whole healthcare system of the US. The work by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explores the key gaps in nursing practice and the whole healthcare system of the US. It provides effective recommendations to reform the US nursing practice. Their role is to support the efforts of the Federal, State, and Local government in executing the recommendations of the IOM report through funding, research, and providing insurance services. Despite financial and personnel shortage, Alabama action coalitions promote healthy living and have eased nursing restriction.
1. Buffery, D. (2013). As Deadline Nears, Health Insurance Exchanges Making Progress, with Some Setbacks. American Health & Drug Benefits, 6(1), 25–26.
2. D’Eramo, A. & Puckett, J. B. (2014). Quality and Safety Education for Nurses: Is It Time to Rethink Quality Improvement Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes? Journal of Nursing Education, 53(11), 604-605.
3. IOM. (2011). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
4. Jones, D. K., & Greer, S. L. (2013). State Politics and the Creation of Health Insurance Exchanges. American Journal of Public Health, 103(8), e8–e10.
5. Sherwood, G. (2015). Perspectives: Nurses’ expanding role in developing safety culture: Quality and Safety Education for Nurses – competencies in action. Journal of Research in Nursing, 20(8), 734–740.