The work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee Initiative on the Future of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine research.
The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health is a report that was produced in 20011 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to provide recommendations aimed at improving the quality of healthcare services in the USA. The report came into being as a result of the establishment of the IOM and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)-led initiative in 2008 (Institute of Medicine, 2012). The report was to carry out studies and give recommendations that would be used as a blue print for reforming the nursing sector.
The idea of reforming the healthcare sector was formalized in 2010 when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. ACA is a comprehensive legislation which would transform the US healthcare system by making healthcare services affordable, safe, and of high quality. During the 2-year period, IOM and the RWJF did a commendable job by identifying interdisciplinary collaboration, quality, and accessible healthcare services to be great pillars in transforming the future of healthcare system in the country.
After thorough deliberations, the committee gave four main messages that centered on nursing practice, nursing education, interdisciplinary collaboration in nursing, and nursing-related policymaking. Thus, the committee recommended that would positively transform the future of nursing in the USA.
The Importance of the IOM “Future of Nursing” Report
The report produced by IOM was a good one. It was aimed at improving the quality of nursing services in the country. Nursing is one of the largest sections in the healthcare system. if given an opportunity, the nurses can greatly contribute towards the improvement of healthcare services in the country. the report thus recommended that 1) nurses should be given an opportunity to practice in accordance with their training and education; 2) nurses should be allowed to improve their education and advance their careers; 3) nurses should foster a spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration with the physicians, pharmacists, and all the other healthcare professionals; and 4) improved policy making through extensive research and data collection (Pittman, Horton, Terry & Bass, 2014). These recommendations are important because of many reasons:
First, the report would help in empowering the nurses to be innovative in the service-delivery. If the first recommendation is implemented, the quality of the services provided by the nurses will tremendously improve. Allowing the nurses to exploit their full potential will enable them to be innovative and creative in service-delivery (Pittman, Bass, Hargraves, Herrera & Thompson, 2015). This will help in eliminating the barriers that have been hindering the nurses from doing their best. For a very long time, the nurses have not been able to effectively serve their clients because they are restricted from doing so. Therefore, by making the recommended changes, it will be much easier for the nurses to operate in a free and supportive environment.
Secondly, the implication of the second recommendation will help in creating more educational and training opportunities for the nurses. Education is one of the factors determining the quality of nursing in the country. Therefore, if properly trained, the uses will feel motivated to deliver their best and get to advance their careers (Melnyk, et al., 2014). Seamless education will enable the nurses to easily transit from lower ranks of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), to the Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Increase in the number of specialized nurses can play a significant role in improving the quality of nursing services in the country (O’Brien, et al., 2014).
Lastly, the implementation of the third recommendation can help in improving the quality of nursing services in the USA. Health care is a broad sector which is made up of different professionals. Therefore, for the nurses to improve the care provided, they need to foster a collaborative approach with all the other stakeholders who can help them in making important decisions and policies. The involvement of nurses in the policy-making process can help in improving the face of nursing by making transformative policies that can benefit the nurses, government, and the general public (Redman, Pressler, Furspan & Potempa, 2015). The contributions of nurses can be relied upon to redesign nursing and the healthcare sector in entirety.
The Role of State-Based action Coalitions in Advancing the Goals of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action
The report provided by the IOM was a good one because, if properly implemented, it can help in transforming nursing in the country. However, its implementation has not been fully done because it has been delegated to each state. In California, the authority to implement the report has been given to the California Action Coalition (CAAC). CAAC is the body which is responsible for spearheading the transformation of health care and nursing in particular in the state. So far, the coalition has made tremendous efforts in the advancement of the goals of the IOM report.
Among the achievements of CAAC is the promotion of nursing education and training in the state. The coalition has succeeded in increasing the number of BSN nurses in the state by 8.3%. This has enabled California to increase the number of nurses with BSN and higher qualifications to 61.5%.
The other achievement made is that the coalition is increased participation of nurses in the decision making processes (Leach & McFarland, 2014). The coalition has done this by creating leadership competencies and empowering the nurses to be actively involved in the bedside as well as boardroom matters. The coalition has come up with many initiatives such as mentorship programs so as to accomplish this goal.
Lastly, CAAC has succeeded in implementing the nurse residency programs as well as eliminating the barriers that have been barring the nurses from effectively discharging their duties. The coalition has come up with program tracking, definition document, and standard guidelines to coordinate the transition of nurses (Burston & Tuckett, 2013). However, to enable the nurse to practice to the full scope of their training, the coalition has actively participated in the development and the enactment of pro-nursing legislations in the state.
Burston, A. S., & Tuckett, A. G., (2013). Moral distress in nursing Contributing factors,outcomes and interventions. Nursing Ethics, 20(3), 312-324.
Institute of Medicine. (2012). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Leach, L. S., & McFarland, P. (2014). Assessing the Professional Development Needs ofExperienced Nurse Executive Leaders. Journal of Nursing Administration, 44(1), 51-62.
Melnyk, B. M., et al., (2014). The establishment of evidence?based practice competencies forpracticing registered nurses and advanced practice nurses in real?world clinical settings:proficiencies to improve healthcare quality, reliability, patient outcomes, and costs.Worldviews on Evidence?Based Nursing, 11(1), 5-15.
O’Brien, A., et al., (2014). Evaluating the preceptor role for pre-registration nursing andmidwifery student clinical education. Nurse education today, 34(1), 19-24.
Pittman, P., Bass, E., Hargraves, J., Herrera, C., & Thompson, P. (2015). The future of nursing:Monitoring the progress of recommended change in hospitals, nurse-led clinics, andhome health and hospice agencies. Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(2), 93-99.
Pittman, P., Horton, K., Terry, M., & Bass, E. (2014). Residency programs for home health andhospice nurses: prevalence, barriers, and potential policy responses. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 26(2), 86-91.
Redman, R. W., Pressler, S. J., Furspan, P., & Potempa, K. (2015). Nurses in the United Stateswith a practice doctorate: Implications for leading in the current context of health care.Nursing outlook, 63(2), 124-129.
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