The Future of Nursing
Being a registered nurse affords one the option of working in many diverse healthcare settings. In any practice setting the climate of health care change is evident. There are diverse entities involved in the implementation and recommendation of these practice changes. These are led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), nursing campaign for action initiatives, as well as individual state-based action coalitions. Nurses need to be prepared and cognizant of the transformations occurring in health care settings as well as the plans that put them at the forefront of the future.
Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Several years ago in 2008 the RWJF and the IOM collaborated for two years to discern the future needs of the nursing profession. Most importantly, the objective was to outline the critical actions needed to ensure nursing was ready to seamlessly move towards the future. This was no easy task as nurses work in such diverse settings such as outpatient areas, acute care settings, the community, and long term settings to name a few. Couple this with the fact that nurses have a variety of educational avenues such as the associates, diploma, or bachelor’s degree open to them to achieve the status of registered nurse (Institute of Medicine, 2010). All of this considered, the committee did design four key messages regarding the future of nursing as key in the transformation of health care as evidenced in their "Future of Nursing" report.
To briefly summarize, the report acts to identify nurses as an important faction in enabling access to high quality, affordable health care. This was supported by the development of four fundamental recommendations. The first suggests that nurses be allowed to practice within the scope of their degree. This becomes evident in the differences in state laws that pertain to nurse’s practice who have acquired advance degrees such as the nurse practitioner. The second guideline outlines the need for nurses with higher degrees and competencies. This pursuit of higher education must be seamless. The third suggestion stresses the need to be equal partners in designing the future of healthcare. Nurses must be part of the solution to health care reform. Fourthly, there is a need for accurate numbers of health care workers available. With this data accurate projections can be made. These facts must be provided on a state level as well as regional (Institute of Medicine, 2010). For the nursing workforce, the IOM Future of Nursing report is of great importance.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is an advocate of the IOM’s report. The report is consistent with ANA’s recommendations and goals and highlights the importance to nursing to continually advance the profession. Furthermore, the ANA agrees with the emphasis and significance placed on the need for nurses to be owners of leadership roles within the health care...