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Implementation of the IOM Future of Nursing Report in the United States

A summary of the key messages of the IOM report

The US has a chance to transform its healthcare system and nurses, perhaps the largest workforce in the healthcare system, have critical roles to play in the transformation process. In this regard, the IOM focuses on fundamental issues to overcome barriers that limit nurses’ participation in the rapidly evolving healthcare system. It is vital to overcome these barriers to ensure that nurses can offer effective leadership and promote health. First, the IOM report proposes further nurse education and seamless academic progression (Institute of Medicine, 2010, p. 2). Second, the IOM report requires that nurses should “practice to the fullest extent of their education and training” (Institute of Medicine, 2010, p. 2). Third, The IOM report supports effective nurse leadership in the healthcare system to lead change and advance service provision. Finally, nurse should have effective workforce planning, data collection for policymaking and enhanced information systems.

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The role of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative and the American Association of Retired Persons on the Future of Nursing, Campaign for Action and the State Based Action Coalitions

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) worked in collaboration with the IOM to conduct a study as a part of a major initiative on the Future of Nursing. Generally, the RWJF focused on producing a report to transform the future of nursing. The ad hoc committee reviewed the ability of current nurse workforce to meet healthcare demands, developed several national recommendations for consideration in reforms and addressed nurse shortage and nurse education system. The committee wants to ensure changes across all levels of healthcare policy implementation and promotes innovative intervention models in nursing. In all these processes, the RWJF must identify critical roles of nurses in formulating and executing a more efficient and resourceful healthcare system in the US. These may include reviewing nurse roles, expanding nursing education system, evaluating innovative systems, and attracting and retaining talented nurses across various departments.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) collaborated with the RWJF to implement the recommendations of the report. As a result, these organizations launched a major initiative known as the Campaign for Action (Swartz, 2012, p. 159). Within the first year of the Campaign for Action, various nursing agencies have worked together to gather and analyze data related to nursing, states have formed their own coalitions, funding has been increased, and the RWJF continues to work with other stakeholders to create, review and disseminate information for the implementation of the IOM recommendations.

Action Coalitions are responsible for facilitating the implementation of the Future of Nursing. These coalitions aim for “long-term, sustainable implementation of the IOM at local, state and federal levels” (Swartz, 2012, p. 159). In collaboration with the RWJF and other related stakeholders, Action Coalitions have embarked on ambitious plans to develop and implement specific sets of regional agendas and campaigns to facilitate the implementation of the IOM recommendations.

The importance of the IOM FON report related to the nursing workforce

The importance of the IOM FON can be identified in the major highlighted areas that concern nursing workforce. First, nursing workforce should specialize in specific areas, develop their skills, knowledge and focus on continued training to enhance the quality of care. Hence, they need to progress academically from diplomas to doctorate for nursing practice (DNP). Second, nurses have continued to encounter regulatory and institutional challenges as they seek for further training, education and practice. For example, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) have attained higher qualifications but cannot practices in some areas because of such barriers (Fitzgerald, Kantrowitz-Gordon, Katz, & Hirsch, 2012, p. 2). The IOM recommends that nurses should practice to the fullest according to their qualifications and training. Third, as previously mentioned, IOM wants nursing workforce to practice to their fullest based on training and qualifications. This would solve cases of nursing shortage witnessed in the country (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2014, pp. 1-6). Fourth, the IOM FON insists on nurse leadership and therefore requires nurses to participate in decision-making processes, advocacy and healthcare reforms (Ferguson-Paré, 2003, p. 35). Finally, the IOM FON requires nurses to plan and rely on data to enhance effective decision-making.

The intent of the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action

The major intent of the Campaign for Action is to facilitate the implementation of the IOM report recommendations across all states. For instance, the Campaign for Action works with various stakeholders to ensure that they incorporate the IOM recommendations into their strategic plans and programs continuously. It encourages healthcare stakeholders to gather and analyze nursing workforce data across all states to reflect the actual nursing workforce situation in the US. The Campaign for Action has encouraged the formation of coalitions at state levels to enhance change. In the State of Florida, for instance, it facilitates the transformation of community colleges to offer degree programs for nurses. The Campaign for Action also advocates for changes through political leaders and policymakers. For instance, it has ensured that fiscal budgets account for the implementation of the IOM recommendations as witnessed in 2012 (Swartz, 2012, p. 159). It also coordinates research agendas across all states to ensure that stakeholders produce, collect, analyze and provide information necessary to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations. Overall, the Campaign for Action exploits any available opportunities to promote the Future of Nursing based on the IOM recommendations.

The rationale of state-based action coalitions

The state-based Action Coalitions were formed to drive the Future of Nursing agendas. Action Coalitions strive to ensure that “long-term sustainable goals of the IOM recommendations are implemented at the local, state and regional levels” (Swartz, 2012, p. 159). With a diverse composition of stakeholders from different sectors, the Action Coalitions aim to identify and adopt “best practices, identify the need for research, make follow-ups on lessons learned and recognize best replicable models for other states” (Swartz, 2012, p. 159).

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The Action Coalitions work with other stakeholders to ensure that they identify local situations, develop and implement unique sets of priorities and campaigns by considering such unique conditions at local, state and regional levels.

One state-based action coalition and two initiatives

The Florida Action Coalition is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the IOM recommendations in the State of Florida. The state has distinctive healthcare issues and therefore it collaborates with various providers to develop novel remedies by ensuring nurses’ participation. Hence, it has significant achievements with the Action Coalition. Its initiatives covered here are education and diversity.

Florida requires nurses to have high quality education in order to be able to deliver high quality care in complex healthcare settings. Currently, nurses possess BSN or higher qualification in Florida. The Florida Action Coalition strives to ensure higher levels of training and education for nurses. It has focused on enhanced, seamless education for nurses, eliminating education barriers and transforming colleges to offer nursing degree programs. Florida has developed an education model for the region based on IOM report.

The state has a diverse population with different healthcare needs, and nurses strive to meet these unique needs. Hence, its nursing employees reflect diversity and Florida works with inputs from diversity stakeholders to ensure inclusion.

References

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2014). Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet. Web.

Ferguson-Paré, M. (2003). Administration: What Is Leadership in Nursing Administration? Nursing Leadership, 16(1), 35-37.

Fitzgerald, C., Kantrowitz-Gordon, I., Katz, J., & Hirsch, A. (2012). Advanced Practice Nursing Education: Challenges and Strategies. Nursing Research and Practice, 2012(2012), 1-8.

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Institute of Medicine. (2010). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Web.

Swartz, M. K. (2012). Update on the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 26(3), 159-160.

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