Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), released their report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health on October 5, 2010, after a two year initiative. The goal of the IOM report is to promote quality, safe, and cost effective healthcare to the American public (Holzemer, 2010). Nursing is a major focus. The report offers recommendations for change and has four key messages: 1) Ensure that nurses can work to the full extent of their education and training.
2) Improve nursing education. 3) Provide opportunities for nurses to assume leadership positions and to serve as full partners in health care redesign and improvement efforts. 4) Provide data collection for workforce planning and policy making (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p. 1). This report has impacted various aspects of health care, but this paper will discuss the impact on nursing education, the nurse’s role as a leader, and nursing practice. The IOM report states a transformed health care system is needed in order to provide diverse care.
Nursing is at the center of this transformation. Nurses have the opportunity to play a central role in transforming the health care system to create a more accessible, high quality, and value driven environment for patients (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p. 85).
Changes will need to be made in order to support this transformation and nurses will need to practice to the full extent of their education and skills. The legislation has already started to make changes moving away from illness care and pushing towards community-based care, with a focus on prevention and disease management (McNeal, 2012). The education requirement of nurses has been an ongoing debate for some time. According to the IOM, and many would agree, nursing education should serve as a platform for continued lifelong learning and include opportunities for seamless transition to higher degree programs (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p. 163). The IOM report emphasizes the need to increase the number of nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). Evidence shows a higher percentage of better patient outcomes for patients of nurses with a BSN degree (Holzemer, 2010). It is believed patients will get higher quality care with more bachelor degree educated nurses in the health care field. 40-50% of nurses practicing in the USA received their education in a community college setting. One of the goals set by the IOM is to have 80% of nurses with a BSN by 2020 (Holzemer, 2010). There have been many moves towards the education suggestions of the IOM report.
Many organizations are encouraging nurses to continue their education, offering tuition reimbursement, and greater opportunities for career advancement. It is important for nurses to continue their education throughout their career in order to keep current and provide safe quality care. The IOM report emphasizes the importance of a nurse-physician team leading a redesign of the health care system. Nurses represent the largest aspect of the health care team and have the most interaction with patients. Physicians are second with a more elaborate education and have more authority in making decisions (Thibault, 2011). Nurses with a strong leadership base will be required in order to help redesign and reform the health care system in many aspects, as well as provide better quality and safer care to their patients. These leadership skills can be learned in school and developed overtime in practice.
According to the IOM nurses should practice at the highest level they are trained. Skills can be obtained through leadership programs, mentorship, and policy making involvement (Institute of Medicine, 2011). The transformation of the health care system will require nurses to be able to meet new challenging demands and leadership skills are essential. In order to meet the goals in the IOM report I am currently enrolled in a BSN program. My goal is to continue my education and keep up with current practice. I plan to practice to the full extent of my education and skills and one day hold a job utilizing leadership skill obtained along the way in my career and education.
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