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Implementation of the IOM Future of Nursing Report

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RJWF) is perhaps best known in America as the country’s largest philanthropy foundation dedicated solely to health and health care. With the goal of improving the health, health care and health care system in America and its citizens, the foundation releases approximately $400 million worth of yearly grants that address the country’s most complicated health and health care concerns. The foundation is heavily involved in bringing change towards the health care system in the country (http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org).

Last 2008, RJWF has launched a partnership with Institute of Medicine (IOM) to tackle America’s health care issues such as health care workforce, health services, coverage and access, quality and patient safety. For two years the two sectors collaborated in conducting a research that delves in the advancement of nursing (http://www.iom.edu).

Nurses, as part of the health care team, ought to comply with national standards of nursing practice in term of qualifications. The study led to a set of findings that tackles the capacity of current nursing education system and the increasing shortage of nurses in the practice. As a result, the appointed team has come up with a series of recommendations which will address the crisis the nursing practice is currently facing:

  • The roles of nurses in the workforce must undergo a transformation to accommodate the shortage, societal issues in the country and the dynamism of technology;
  • Intensifying the capacity of nursing school and their respective nursing faculties, and redesigning the present nursing education system to accommodate the present and future health care demands;
  • Innovative solutions must focus around the context of nursing and the delivery of nursing services; and
  • Drawing and preserving highly efficient and effective nurses in multiple care settings.

Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing

Nurses make up for the largest division of the country’s health care labor force. With more than three million nurses in practice in America, they have the biggest responsibility on fulfilling the objectives set in the 2010 Affordable Care Act. But a number of obstructions are preventing them from fully maximizing their roles and effectively respond to the dynamism of health care settings and health care system.

With the cooperation of RWJF and IOM that began on 2008, their joint study has pointed out the obstacles that prevent nurses from leading and bringing change. This action has paved way for the appointed Committee on the RWJ Initiative on the Future of Nursing for coming up with a set of recommendations for an action-oriented plan, all for the enhancement of the future of the nursing education, profession and practice. The four key components are listed below:

1. Nurses should be able to practice their profession to the full extent of their capacity.

2. Nurses should gain higher levels of education and wider scope training via an improved education system.

3. Nurses should act as full partners with other health care professionals in bringing improvement in health care in America.

4. Nurses should practice in a work place where successful planning and policy making is widely implemented.

Now that the key points are identified and prioritized, nursing leaders can focus their attention to these four components and implement changes to the current regulations to meet the desired outcomes. Using the four components mentioned, present nursing leaders will use these as a guide to the changes in both practice and education system that will bring about the desired transformation. However, the power to modify and improve the health care, health care system and health care settings does not solely lie on the hands of the nurses. The key is a collaborative effort between different sectors- government, health care organization, business, insurance industry and professional associations. To meet the objectives of the ‘Future of Nursing’, the said sectors must work hand in hand to facilitate the assurance that the health care system will provide flawless, reasonably priced, and highly available quality care that can be easily accessed by all citizens of the United States (http://campaignforaction.org).

Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action

Campaign of Action is a calling to transform the health care system of the United States through nursing, wherein each and every American has access to patient-centered, high-quality care, with nurses working to their full potential and maximum capabilities. This campaign has the support of Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RJWF), 49 state action unions, health care professionals, and policy makers all across the country. Because of the participation of other sectors and national organizations, CCNA is able to put into action the evidence-based recommended proposals from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The intention of the campaign is to set a health care system where the patient is the focus of care. Easy access of care is also highlighted. Nurses will undergo an education enhancement and skills training to be able to provide a more holistic and effective care to patients any setting. (http://thefutureofnursing.org/)

State-based Action Coalitions

The state of Washington joins the implementation of national nursing recommendations as proposed b IOM. Lead by Washington Center for Nursing (WCN) and the Washington Health Foundation (WHF), the Washington Nursing Action Coalition (WNAC) aims to unite various groups of stakeholders from diverse sectors all over the state. The focus of their plan is the determining of key work the state requires.

As indicated in the website of Washington Center for Nursing (http://www.wacenterfornursing.org), one of the current projects of WCN is the Master Plan for Nursing Education. The goal of this project is to lessen the deficiency of nursing faculty in nursing schools, formulate pioneering curriculum models and instruction approaches, uphold the shift to practice programs for new nurses and employ strategies to boost ethnic diversity among nursing students in the state.

Also, part of WCN’s projects is a series of workshops that strengthen the leadership potential among staff nurses, direct care nurses and rising nurse leaders. This is to provide an avenue for present nurses to be trained for future leader positions. The leadership workshops steer nurses in Washington communicate effectively with their coworkers, and identify their learning styles and utilize it to their advantage. 

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