The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report in 2010, coincident with the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The report is a comprehensive document that explores the future of the nursing profession in a continually developing scenario, where chaos, uncertainty, and unpredictability are likely to become the rule (Grossman & Valiga, 2017). The legislation, on the other hand, identified new models for delivering health care where nurses play a broader role in community-based care with a significant focus on population health (Altman, Butler, & Shern, 2016). Among the suggestions included in the report, in recommendation 7 the IOM invites nurses to lead reform to advance health (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Under this perspective, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DPN) should drive the change within their working environment and outside nursing by advocating for health awareness.
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Recommendation 7 in the Future of Nursing Report
The Future of Nursing is paramount in outlining the guidelines for the proper development of the nursing profession over the next years. Its concurrency with the promulgation of legislation aimed at impacting the national health care system adds further value to the report. On the one hand, the study shows how the IOM is alive and active in society, on the other hand, it recognizes the unique position of nurses in taking the lead toward an improved and patient-focused health care system (Altman et al., 2016). In this view, recommendation 7 takes on particular importance, because it urges the nursing education system to prepare nurses to lead change to advance health while encouraging “public, private, and governmental health care decision-makers” to include professional nurses in their management teams (IOM, 2011, p. 14). It follows that the role of nurses goes beyond the healthcare environment to embrace private and public policymaker settings, where nurses are called to assume leadership positions and contribute to shaping future healthcare policies.
Implementing Recommendation 7 to Influence Health Policies
Doctors of Nursing Practice are perfectly entitled to assume a leadership role in the nursing environment, with the awareness of being game-changers in leading society toward a new model of health policy. For this reason, I consider getting involved in health policy and undertaking grassroots political strategies to offer a nursing perspective in shaping the future of the health care delivery system and the nursing profession. Understanding the health policy and the nursing process and adopting the right strategies to reach the goals are the critical factors for adequate nursing leadership (Cherry & Jacob, 2014). The first step for an active DPN consists in learning how to recognize which nursing and health care issues are susceptible to policy action. Once identified an area of intervention, an efficient approach should follow a consistent path where the nurse takes appropriate actions: an assessment of the problem, targeted identification of the issue, planning, implementation, and evaluation (Cherry & Jacob, 2014). Finally, research and findings should be supported by an active presence of the DPN on the territory, and grassroots political strategies carried out to influence policymakers, including communicating and meeting with politicians or their staff.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report promoted a new model of the health care system. The emphasis on the role of nurses in leading society towards advanced health encourages nurses to take on responsibility and assume leadership positions within and outside of nursing. Recommendation 7 urges nurses to drive change to improve the health care system; under this perspective, a DPN who has been actively involved in the social and political life an advocate for improvements in health policies through a series of strategies aimed at influencing policymakers effectively.
Altman, S. H., Butler, A. S., & Shern L. (Eds.). (2016). Assessing progress on the Institute of Medicine report the future of nursing. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Web.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2014). Contemporary Nursing: Issues, trends and management. Saint Louis, MO: Elsevier
Grossman, S., & Valiga, M. T. (2017). The new leadership challenge: Creating the future of nursing. Philadelphia, PA: E. A. Davis Company
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Institute of Medicine. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Web.