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Nursing and Florida State Action Coalition Future

Nursing was, is, and will remain an integral and vital component of a modern healthcare system, and its importance will only rise as the complexity of medical equipment and procedures grows. However, this continuous process not only highlights the significance of nursing as a profession but also requires higher levels of education and professionalism that would allow sustaining an effective nursing force. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health focuses on these issues and offers recommendations for the state action coalitions aiming to promote professionalism and overcome the barriers to the delivery of high-quality healthcare. The core messages of this report focus on improving nursing education and strengthening nurse leadership, among other things, and the Florida action coalition pursues both these goals in its initiatives.

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The Robert Wood Foundation Committee Initiative was crucial in creating the report, which represents the results of the work completed by the committee members and many other health professionals. As stated in the foreword to the report, the purpose of the IOM is to promote expert discussion, debate, and deliberations on possible solutions for the health issues that face the United States and the world at large (Robert Wood Foundation Committee (RWFC, 2011). The committee pursued this goal by utilizing the financing provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine and analyze the future of the nursing profession. For this purpose, the committee gathered information from numerous sources, including both individuals and organizations, that allowed creating a more comprehensive picture of the perspectives of the nursing profession. The committee also utilized research products, particularly those designed by the Robert Wood Foundation Nursing Research Network (RWFC, 2011). Several open workshops and three forums discussing the future of nursing also took place under the committee’s guidance. Conclusions and recommendations of the report represent the results of this work.

The primary and most important of these results is the committee’s vision of the nursing profession and its perspectives summarized in the four key messages that constitute a separate section of the report. All these messages effectively count as recommendations designed to shape and influence the nursing practice in the foreseeable future. The first of these messages is an ethical and professional obligation that requires nurses to practice to the fullest extent of their education and training (RWFC, 2011). The second message emphasizes the necessity of an improved education system that could ensure unimpeded academic progress and promote higher standards of nursing training (RWFC, 2011). The third message stresses that nurses should be full partners with physicians and other health professionals, and the fourth one calls for more effective data collection conducive to better workforce planning and policy (RWFC, 2011). As will be shown below, these recommendations can influence nursing in multiple ways, especially in terms of messages 2 and 3 that focus on nursing education and leadership. Yet this impact can only occur provided that the organizations that pursue it have the funding they need.

State action coalitions are among the principal agents of the change outlined in the report and its four key messages. Their importance lies in the fact that they unite nursing professionals and business interests to create an integrated organizational framework that allows advancing the goals specified in the report (“Action coalitions,” n.d.). Building partnerships with business interests is essential for pursuing the goals mentioned above, as it provides the funding necessary to advance nursing leadership, education, and data gathering. The involvement of nursing professionals, as both practitioners and educations, is conducive to developing specific solutions addressing the issues related to one or more goals outlined in the report. Coalitions may offer scholarships to ensure a steady supply of educated nurses, provide training on specific competencies, or gather data that informs the nurses’ leadership and workforce planning.

One specific example of a state-based coalition in action is the project titled “Promoting Nurses as Leaders in Florida to Advance Nursing and Health Policy,” led by Florida State Coalition. This project serves to prepare Florida nurses to develop and improve their readiness for board service (“Florida: State implementation program,” n.d). It relates directly to the third key message of the report that focuses on promoting nursing leadership and making nurses equal partners to all other health professionals in healthcare policymaking. Moreover, the project also involves the creation of a database that lists the organizations looking for nurses as potential board members (“Florida: State implementation program,” n.d). Therefore, the project is also conducive to the fourth key message of the report that calls for better information infrastructure and data collection.

Another specific example of Florida State Coalition acting to change healthcare state- and region-wide is the scholarship program designed to strengthen the nursing workforce. As a part of the Suncoast Nursing Action regional coalition, Florida State Coalition offers scholarships meant to improve nursing education. In August 2019 alone, fourteen scholarships were awarded, totaling $50,000 in financial terms (“Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition,” 2019). The goal of this initiative is to provide a steady supply of qualified baccalaureate-prepared nurses, which should be conducive to promoting high-quality healthcare in the region. Since this particular project seeks to improve nursing education, it corresponds to the second goal set forth in the report.

However, there are still barriers to the advancement of the goals outlined in the report, and in Florida, these are often related to a lack of relevant information or particular skills necessary to fill a given position. The above-mentioned project “Promoting Nurses as Leaders in Florida” may serve as a fitting illustration. The necessity of the initiative that offers training necessary for nurses to serve as board members in their respective organizations demonstrates that the lack of certain competencies specific for board service (“Florida: State implementation program,” n.d). Moreover, the necessity of the database of the organizations seeking nurses as potential board members suggests that some nursing professionals have likely missed such an opportunity due to the lack of information. Therefore, one may identify insufficient training in certain position-specific skills and the lack of information on potential opportunities as the key obstacles to advancement that currently exist in Florida.

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As one can see, the 2011 IOM report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health offers a comprehensive vision of the perspectives of nursing that is fulfilled in practice by the state-based action coalitions. The Robert Wood Foundation Committee utilized the numerous research projects and the contributions of nursing professionals to put forward the four key messages on the future of nursing. State-based action coalitions bring together nursing professionals and business partners to promote these goals in the projects they manage. In particular, Florida State Coalition promotes nursing leadership and awards scholarships to ensure a continuous supply of qualified nurses, although there are still advancement barriers related to the lack of information and some position-specific competencies.

References

Action coalitions. (N.d.). Future of Nursing: Campaign for action.

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. National Academies Press.

Florida: State Implementation Program. (N.d.). Future of Nursing: Campaign for action.

Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition. (2019). Future of Nursing: Campaign for action. Web.

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