Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing On October 5, 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), released the report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. ” This detailed report explores the need of the nursing profession to evolve and prepare for the impact that will occur as a result of the health care reform and the transformation that will be seen to our complex health care system.
With the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of Americans who were previously uninsured now find themselves with the opportunity to seek out and obtain the much needed medical attention that was previously denied to them. With the heightened number of individuals who are now able to receive primary care, there is concern as to whether or not there will be enough providers available to handle the massive increase in patient load.
The reformed health care system now brings on new challenges and these challenges offer nurses the opportunity to practice with more freedom in order help close the gaps within our health care delivery system. The IOM committee formulated key messages that structure its recommendation for this transformation, focusing on three crucial areas including nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing leadership. The IOM’s first key message addresses the need to transform practice and states that “Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
” (Institute of Medicine, 2010) There is the need to allow nurses who have obtained the appropriate education, such as a masters or doctorate degree, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to provide primary care and not be restricted by state laws and regulations. Guidelines should be set based on their experience and competency level, not just their states written scope of practice. As noted earlier, there are a deficient number of primary care providers and, given the opportunity, nurses could help ensure that quality health care is available to all.
The recommendations of the IOM report are not aimed at substituting nurses for physicians, but propose the claim that nurses, especially APRN’s, and physicians can work together as a team to provide the primary care services needed. The next key message provided by the IOM report states “Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression. ” (Institute of Medicine, 2010) Increased knowledge and advanced training will always be a necessary part of the nursing profession.
No one degree will provide a nurse with all the knowledge, skill, and education needed throughout their entire career. Continuing education, unfortunately, is not always viewed as a necessity and reimbursement for monies spent in order to achieve a higher degree is not always made available. An improved system that finds new incentives which encourages nurses to advance their education is required in order to maintain academic progression. To successfully improve and reshape the nursing profession, there should be more emphasis placed on the need for lifelong learning and the addition of residency programs.
Residency programs allow nurses to gain the much needed experience that a book is unable to provide, enabling APRN’s to practice to their fullest capabilities. Some physicians believe that APRN’s lack the experience that medical professionals receive during their many years of training. These residency programs can be viewed as a solution, providing nurses with a different form of education and training that is needed in order to practice as individuals and not always under the guidance of a physician.
The third key message in the report pertains to the need to transform leadership and states that “Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the Unites States. ” (Institute of Medicine, 2010) The nursing profession is often viewed as one that exists only to carry out the orders provided to us by physicians. Increasing the leadership role of nurses will help change this stigma, allowing them to be viewed as equal partners in the health care workforce. Nurses are needed not only at the bedside, but also in the boardroom.(Institute of Medicine, 2010)
They need to have a say in the redesign and reform of our health care system, especially when it comes to the ways in which nurses are affected directly. Nurses provide care unlike any other member of the health care team and therefore have the ability to bring forth new information that could only by obtained through the unique nurse-patient relationship. Nurses have an impact on every aspect of health care, who better to help guide the reform that the largest segment of the workforce.
Nurses care for patients on a daily basis and have the opportunity and capability to implement change. Nurses have the ability to work with other health care professionals in an attempt to create a collaborative workforce and show others how this approach can affect the delivery of care and also increase its quality and safety. This is only one example of how nurses will change the way in which they practice in order to help meet the goals of the IOM report.
With the increased number of insured individuals, nurses will have to alter the way in which they manage their time and prioritize their interventions. One specific way that I, as a nurse, would practice differently would be to focus more of my attention on teaching not only in the acute care setting, but also within the community. More emphasis would be placed on prevention and chronic care management in order to help decrease the demand for primary care services. The IOM report has provided a detailed and evidence based roadmap designed to help guide the health care system, and the professionals who practice within the system, in the right direction towards improving health care quality and an overall healthier nation.
- Institute of Medicine. (2010, October 5). Retrieved July 27, 2012, from The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health: http://www. iom. edu/Reports/2010/The- Future-of-Nursing-Leading Change-Advancing-Health. aspx.