Implementation of the IOM Future of Nursing Report
In the year 2008, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the IOM started an initiative that was to run for two years; its core purpose was to conduct an assessment on the nursing profession and transform it. The IOM put in place a Committee on the RWJF Initiative that was tasked with the role of developing a red with recommendations report that would come up with recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of the profession (Batalden & Leach, 2009). After lengthy and profound deliberations the committee came up with four primary issues. They include:
- Nurses should carry out their practice to the full extent of their training and education.
- Nurses should attain the highest levels of education through a system that is improved and that promotes continuous progress in the education.
III. Nurses are supposed to be full partners with doctors and other healthcare professionals in the process of redesigning healthcare in the United States of America
- Finally, efficient workforce planning and the making of policies need better collection of data and data infrastructure (Pittman, Bass, Hargraves, Herrera, & Thompson, 2015).
This paper will discuss the importance of the IOM report related to nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing workforce development. It will further look into the role of state-based action coalitions and how they advance goals of the future of nursing.
To begin with, the report highlighted key issues in nursing practice. The biggest problem was scope related barriers to nursing practice. The report had an objective for nurses to be able to practice to the extent of their education (“The Future of Nursing”, 2011). To achieve these, the report proposed some changes. First, the significant changes it suggested were to be made by Congress. The report recommended that Congress restructures the laws to allow for Medicare coverage of advanced nurse practitioners by the insurance body just like doctors had cover. There we more recommendation that all lobbied for the scope of practice of the nurses to be widened. The report also urged the state legislatures to reform the scope of practice regulations that limited the practice of nurses (Pittman, Bass, Hargraves, Herrera, & Thompson, 2015).
The report further suggested that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services make amendments or clarify the needs for hospital participation in the Medicare programs to ensure that advanced practice nurses have the privilege to admit patients and membership on medical staff (Batalden & Leach, 2009). Other relevant recommendations made by the report included suggestions to the Department of Justice to have states with restrictive regulations on advanced nurse practitioners amend them to allow the APNs provide care to patients in all settings where they are allowed to do the same.
Equally important were the observations made by the report pertaining nursing education. There was a real intention to increase the numbers of a nurse with a bachelor’s degree by the year 2020. The report observed that the academic nurse leader working across all schools of nursing should make a collective effort to increase the number of degree nurses from 50% to 80% by the year 2020 (Pittman, Bass, Hargraves, Herrera, & Thompson, 2015). The report noted that through partnerships forged with education accrediting bodies, public and private funders and employers the goal would be easily achieved. The report sought to have the schools of nursing effect strategies that would enable a seamless transition of the nursing students into the higher levels of nursing education.
Healthcare organizations were also expected to encourage employee nurses who were holders of associate and diploma degrees to enter baccalaureate programs. They could encourage this trend by offering tuition reimbursement and create a work culture that promotes continuing education (Pittman, Bass, Hargraves, Herrera, & Thompson, 2015). The private and public funders, on the other hand, were expected to pool resource and expand the capacity of the baccalaureate programs so that they could enroll more students. The U.S. Secretary of Education was also beckoned to extend the loans available to second-degree nursing students (“The Future of Nursing”, 2011).
The reported further highlighted the need for workforce development and even made recommendations that would benefit the workforce. First, the report emphasized the need to increase the number of nurses with a Doctorate. Recommendations were made to have all schools of nursing have a certain percentage of their students in masters programs proceed to attain doctorate degrees (Batalden & Leach, 2009). Private and public funders were also tasked with increasing the funding to increase the number of nursing students taking part in the doctorate programs. Finally, academic administrators in nursing schools were urged by the report to create salary and benefit packages that would allow them to hire and retain highly skilled and qualified nurse educators in their nursing faculties (“The Future of Nursing”, 2011).
More recommendations were made to have nurses take part in lifelong education. Collaboration between healthcare organizations and Faculties is one way to ensure the curricula is regularly updated to meet the ever-changing needs of the healthcare customer in the country. All healthcare organizations and schools of nursing should foster a culture of lifelong culture.
State-based action coalitions have a role to better the healthcare of the American people going state by state. The action coalitions that are led by nurses and business partners drive transformation locally by working to change health care through nursing. The action coalitions in each of the 50 states in the country including Washington D.C. do the job of campaigning right at the community level including the representation from healthcare bodies, businesses, nursing education. The state action coalitions are investing in the future of nursing through a campaign for action. The state-based action coalitions seek to have all the recommendations made in the RWJF report put into action (“The Future of Nursing”, 2011). They hope to achieve this by starting with what they know the finding out what they do not know then setting an action course. During their campaign for action, their key messages are focused on education, access to care, workforce data and leadership and interprofessional collaboration (Batalden & Leach, 2009). One such state-based action coalition is the California Action Coalition or the Virginia Regional Action Coalition. Members sign up for these alliances to take part in the change process.
In a nutshell, this paper has described the importance of the IOM report related to nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing workforce development. It will further look into the role of state-based action coalitions and how they advance goals of the future of nursing. The United States of America has a rare opportunity to change for the better the healthcare system in the country; nurses have a vital role to play in that transformation process. Despite that, the power to transform the current, business, regulatory and organizational conditions does not result with nurses alone. The government, healthcare organizations, businesses, professional associations, and the insurance industry must all take part. Working in unison these multiple diverse sectors can help ensure that the healthcare system in this country provides uninterrupted, cheap, and quality healthcare that is accessible to everyone
Batalden, P. & Leach, D. (2009). Sharpening the Focus on Systems-Based Practice. Journal Of Graduate Medical Education, 1(1), 1-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.4300/01.01.0001
Pittman, P., Bass, E., Hargraves, J., Herrera, C., & Thompson, P. (2015). The Future of Nursing. JONA: The Journal Of Nursing Administration, 45(2), 93-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/nna.0000000000000167
The Future of Nursing. (2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.17226/12956