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Institute of Medicine on Nursing Professional Development

The Institute of Medicine’s report outlines the four messages that should be considered to achieve success in nursing practice.

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Message #1 states that “nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training” (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p.4). The main idea of this passage is that regardless of the high level of preparedness, specific education, and experience, nurses can still face some barriers preventing them from delivering appropriate care to a patient and use all these skills to their full potential. These limits come from regulatory problems, fragmented health care systems, poor transitions from nursing school, and practice (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p. 4). For this reason, the report emphasizes the fact that it is essential to achieve the complete elimination of these barriers to enjoy positive outcomes.

Message #2 offers the idea that “nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression” (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p.4). The fact is that today, there is a tendency towards the diversification of problems that should be addressed by health workers. It contributes to the expansion of the nursing practice, which now includes such fields as leadership, public health issues, geriatrics, innovative technologies, and management (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Under these conditions, there is an emerging need for more effective education that is structured in a way that can guarantee the acquisition of skills and competencies in all areas mentioned above to remain effective in the complex environment.

Message #3 states that “nurses should be full partners with physicians and other health professionals in redesigning health care in the United States” (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p.4). In other words, today, there is a need for improved collaboration between all health workers with the primary goal of ensuring the appropriate care delivery and positive outcomes. Being full partners, nurses should be ready to accept their responsibility for patients and contribution to the process. Additionally, this goal presupposes the development of leadership qualities to be prepared for multi-disciplinary teams as one of the useful approaches to dealing with complex cases. It also means that nurses should be included in policymaking to share their information about clients and guarantee that only effective measures are chosen and promoted.

Finally, Message #4 assumes that “effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure” (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p.4). It means that the modern healthcare sector demands reliable information about patients, their states, and complications to evolve effectively. Under these conditions, data collection procedures acquire the top priority for all stakeholders, as this knowledge can be used later to create a basis for the achievement of the next levels of excellence and effectiveness. Nurses, as important actors, should also be involved to contribute to improved investigation and analysis of various states to provide the best possible treatment or improve patients’ states.

In such a way, the IOM report has a significant impact on nursing education. Because of the four messages outlined by it, there is a need to reconstruct the current approach to training to ensure that specialists are provided with an opportunity to acquire all skills and competencies needed for them to succeed in the modern world. (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2018) For instance, BSN-prepared nurses already have an improved understanding of leadership qualities, research practices, and approaches to work with clients, which can be useful in their work. For this reason, the IOM report fosters the need for new changes in the healthcare sphere via the introduction of shifts in education.

Nurses play a fundamental role in the modern healthcare sector as they guarantee the connection between patients and physicians and deliver appropriate care. However, today, there is a tendency towards the appearance of new problems, diversification of clients’ needs, and the rise of new trends. For this reason, nurses’ roles should also evolve for this sort of specialists to remain relevant and preserve an opportunity to help people (Grossman & Valiga, 2016).

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Additionally, statistics show that population aging is one of the features of contemporary society. With the growing percentage of the elderly, nurses should be ready to provide care for this cohort to guarantee the effective work of the sphere.

Because of the factors mentioned above, lifelong learning becomes one of the fundamental determinants of success for every nurse. New issues appear every day, and nurses are the first to meet them. That is why there is a vital need for the continuous improvement of the competencies and skills to be able to work with diverse populations, realize their needs, and provide care in the most effective ways.

Altogether, nurses are the main actors who assist in managing patient care within a continuously changing healthcare system. Possessing the improved knowledge about patients, their problems, and having all the competencies and skills needed to work with diversified requirements, these specialists can contribute to the establishment of a new, more effective paradigm aimed at the achievement of more positive outcomes and satisfaction of all clients’ needs. For this reason, nurses and their contribution to the evolution of the healthcare sector should be accepted as a core element of the current environment and given attention to create the basis for future achievements.


Grossman, S., & Valiga, T. (2016). The new leadership challenge: Creating the future of nursing (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

Institute of Medicine. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Web.

Melnyk, B., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2018). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, LWW.

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