This paper focuses on expanding the impact of Institute of Medicine report on future of nursing, leading change, advancing health and illustrates its impact on nursing education, practice and leadership. Focus of this report highlights re structuring of the health care system to provide better service to patients. Today nursing is recognized as a promising career and has gained much significance over the years, several programs for becoming a nursing professional are being offered by universities, community colleges and hospital based schools.
Since the mid 20th century, demands for nursing professional have been on an up rise, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of nursing graduates in the last decade (NLN, 2010b). The focus of nursing education have shifted to new dimensions such as community health, public health, primary care, geriatrics, disease prevention, health promotion and other areas rather than being limited to a particular area. And this is mainly to prepare nurse to deal with evolving health care system.
Demand for nurses produced high amount of entry-level nurses, the study emphasizes highly educated nurses are preferred to handle todays today’s health care challenges. By 2020 the nursing work force should consist of 80% BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) prepared nurses. Achieving this targeted BSN level nursing workforce involves, the use technology (simulation, online education programs) and providing upgrade options for existing associate or diplomas holders and financial support from educational institutions, nursing employers and other healthcare organizations.
Furthermore, the curriculum should be made future proof to facilitate academic advancement. However, the achieving the above targeted workforce population is not an easy mission. Factors that affect the achievement of this goal are shortage of qualified faculties, salary disparities, incompetent curriculum and inadequate workforce planning.
Certain initiative that were taken to overcome these hurdles are, 1) Inception of VANA (Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy) that focused on partnering with nursing institutions to increase number of faculties for baccalaureate nursing programs and to promote and increase enrollment in nursing programs. 2) Introduction of Carondolet Health Network at Tucson, Arizona. This initiative focused on recruiting and retention of nurses in Arizona . 3) HEET (Hospital Employee Education and Training) stressed on both employer needs and career wishes of health care workers.
Professional nursing practice faces several challenges to perform nursing to its full potential. Even with the plan to redesign the education structure as mentioned above, there still exist several barriers such as professional resistance, obsolete insurance policies, guidelines and constraints from state and federal regulations and other geographical challenges that hampers nurses at all level from delivering their full scope of practice.
For nurses to reach up to there full potential in today’s highly competent health care system, the IOM committee recommends there barriers should be removed. APRN’s entering practice after demonstrating their competiveness has to confront resistance from physicians in different states across the nation, leashing their ability to full perform to the scope of their practice. The ability of the patient to receive quality heath care will be affected if these blockades that limit APRNS capability to perform to the full ability, not removed.
Complexities of U. S health care system also limit seamless functioning of hospital services such as insurance reimbursement. As a registered nurse proving health care, I will try to use the knowledge gained from education and experience over the years to advance to a position that direct and associate with other nursing professionals to influence the legislation and federal government, Medicaid and Medicare programs, Congress, Federal Trade Commission, Office of Personal Management to
necessarily remove practice barriers and enable practice to the full extent. Involvement in leadership is essential to accomplish the vision of transformed health care system. In order to implement the necessary changes, active participation from nurses, physicians and other health care workers are vital. Health care reformations have to be initiated, implemented and evaluated, this is should be an ongoing process and leadership skills are required.
Nursing educational program should focus heavily on influencing nurses to gain leadership skills, importance of taking responsibilities should be cultivated in nurses right from the beginning of their career. Partnership with other health care professionals and exposure to leadership can be created at entry level and in other educational environments. To meet the demands of our evolving heath care system, nurses have to be capable of performing in a leadership role in all environments specifically in delivery and transformation of heath care.
Conclusively, a combined effort from all the involved personals, government and health care organizations is required to implement the recommendations highlighted in this report. From the above-mentioned transformations, as a registered nurse I have been enlightened to utilize education as a tool attain a position where I can be involved in becoming a catalyst to this health care industry reformation. Reference The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Institute of Medicine (IOM). Released October 5, 2010.