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Future of Nursing Report’s Role in Practice

The IOM report titled “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” was written as a set of guidelines designed to transform the nursing practice, education, and leadership into more modern incarnations of these concepts. It includes such ideas as the implementation of residency training for nurses, the increase of training for new nurses, improved quality and safety of the practice and a variety of other goals and improvements. This paper will examine the work of the organizations that created the IOM report, its importance to the practice of nursing, as well as the role of state-based coalitions.

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The Work That Led to the IOM Report

The work on the IOM report was performed by a variety of academic professionals from the Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine and a special committee titled “The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing” (“Mission,” 2018). The committee was organized at the Institute of Medicine and included a team of 18 professionals from a multitude of professions and states. The work in preparation of the report included a thorough examination of the current nursing practices, as well as the possible ways in which they may be improved in the near future through achievable means. The work was motivated by the increasing understaffing of nursing positions in hospitals. It is likely that without major changes in nursing practices, the issues will be exacerbated and it would cause grand negative consequences for the profession as a whole (“About NIH,” 2018).

The reformation of the health care system required a deeper look at the American workforce of Nurses and how they perform in the current climate. The work of the committee and the Institute of Medicine was dedicated to information gathering and analysis of the potential solutions to the existing issues. The reconceptualization of the nurse’s role in the new era and how it relates to the workforce, understaffing, other issues, and technology was one of the first steps that the organizations took to resolve the issues of modern healthcare. Another was focused on determining the expansion of the nursing faculty through nursing schools by increasing their capacity. Examination of the solutions was mostly focused on the improvement of education, care delivery, and management of nursing services. Finally, the organizations worked on the research of training and preparation of nurses for application of care in a variety of settings.

Importance of the IOM Report to the Practice of Nursing

The IOM report holds a number of important points about the practice of nursing, education of nurses, and the development of the nursing workforce. The report examines and presents a variety of ways in which the practice of nursing can be improved through the evolution of its methodology. For example, after examining the evidence on the matter, the authors state that APRNs are equal to physicians in the provision of effective, efficient, and safe health care to the patients. The process of transformation of APRNs, as well as other nursing roles, is important because it may be one of the possible solutions to understaffing. The issues of state regulations being designed to be against qualified nurses providing care for patients without physician’s supervision is seen as one of the problems that slowed down the transformation of these roles over the years. Expansion of the scope of practice is stated as a high priority for the improvement of care and its availability to the people of the United States (Institute of Medicine Committee, 2011).

Improvements to the nursing education are set as the second key message of the report. The authors state that nurses need to achieve higher levels of training and education by using a better education system that is designed to provide seamless academic progression. While the changes to the nursing practice are important, they may not be done without changes to the educational system. The emphasis of the education should be on teaching about the experience of care management, methods for quality improvement, systems-level management, and a variety of other topics related to the new and expanded roles of the nursing practice. This is an extremely important aspect because it acts as a foundation for future generations of nurses being able to immediately work in the new transformed nursing roles.

The lack of diversity in the nursing workforce is also examined and as a solution and increase in diversity among the nursing student body is proposed. The number of the nurses that need to enter the workforce to sustain the healthcare industry of the country rises with each year. However, the number of people from racial minorities who join the nursing workforce is relatively low. This makes racial diversity an important untapped source of workers that were either scared off by the lack of opportunities provided by the profession or lack of bridge programs that could connect them to working places after graduation. Gender diversity also deserves attention as the historical roots of the job led to the majority of applicants being women, with a much smaller portion of the workforce being men. The efforts to encourage men to work as nurses should also be considered because they would make a larger workforce that is required in the modern medicine.

The Role of State-Based Action Coalitions

The role of the state action coalitions is in the transformation of the nursing profession according to the IOM report. The actions differ from state to state, and their progress may differ due to the differences in state laws and regulations. I live in Florida, which is one of the states with an active action coalition. It was formed in 2011 and is primarily focused on the leadership aspects of the “Future of Nursing” report. In recent years the coalition was focused on improving access to care in the state and improving diversity in the workforce. The state is currently able to provide more and better care to its people through the programs that were implemented since the coalition began its operation. Barriers such as state regulations and laws forced Florida to work in tandem with other states such as New Mexico, Colorado, West Virginia, and Wisconsin to provide more effective solutions to the presented issues (“Action coalitions,” 2018).

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IOM report presents a great number of guidelines by which the nursing force can be prepared to work in the future. By achieving these goals with each year, the country becomes more capable of providing healthcare to its citizens through the expansion of nursing roles, improved training, and education, as well as changes to the workforce diversity. The process is not simple, but through the combined efforts of action coalitions, these goals may be met in the near future.


Action coalitions. (2018). Web.

Institute of Medicine Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the future of nursing, at the Institute of Medicine. (2011). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). Web.

Mission. (2018). Web.

About NIH. (2018). Web.

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