Nursing Professional Development

Nowadays, the representatives of the nursing profession start playing more and more important roles in the American health care system. There exist a variety of reasons for that; for instance, nurses are cheaper to prepare than physicians, and deep theoretical knowledge that doctors attain is often not required for the practical purposes of providing care for patients. Instead, the knowledge and skills of a nurse prove adequate to satisfy most of the demand for medical services. In addition, the nurses’ focus on the practice of medical care rather than on the theory of medicine might permit them to better serve their clients, for instance, by providing holistic care.

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However, a successful implementation of the new model of nursing requires implementing certain changes in some fields of nursing practice. In particular, the report of the Institute of Medicine [IOM] (2010) entitled The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health scrutinizes a wide range of problems related to nursing in today’s society, and proposes a variety of changes the implementation of which should improve the quality of nursing practice. This paper discusses the recommendations of IOM (2010) in such fields as nursing practice and nursing education, as well as the nurse’s role as a leader. The implications of these recommendations for the future are also considered.

Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Practice

The IOM (2010) report discusses the issue of nursing practice and the ways in which it can be improved to provide the patients with the care of higher quality. It is highlighted that healthcare professionals should strive to utilize their knowledge and skills in order to supply their clients with a care that is patient-centered, and to take into account the unique needs of customers rather than simply act in a manner which is convenient to these professionals (IOM, 2010). Of particular interest is the issue of primary care provision, which is stated to be in shortage in the U.S. (IOM, 2010). It is stressed that nurses are among the largest groups of primary health care providers (83,000 nurse practitioners), along with physicians (287,000) and physician assistants (23,000) (IOM, 2010, p. 88). According to the report, nurses are to play a major role in the future development of primary care in the U.S.

In order to meet the goals of the IOM (2010) report, it is possible to change one’s nursing practice by focusing on the patient-centered care and supplying the clients with the opportunity of shared decision-making (Elwyn et al., 2014). It is also needed to develop leadership skills and utilize them so as to improve the quality of care at one’s workplace and in the nursing sphere in general.

Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Education

The report of IOM (2010) emphasizes the importance of the need for changes in the American system of nursing education, which are crucial if the U.S. health care system is to provide its customers with services of higher quality. It is stated that the changes which are to take place in the health care systems might be impossible to accomplish if the nurse education system does not develop accordingly (IOM, 2010). In particular, the nursing educational systems ought to supply their students with the possibility of lifelong learning, which is necessitated by the fact that nowadays the field of medicine is developing rapidly (IOM, 2010). It is also essential to diversify the nursing workforce and to compensate for the underrepresentation of ethnic minority groups, as well as males, in this profession; clearly, nursing education will have to play a crucial role in this. This can be accomplished, for instance, by adjusting the admission process in nurse colleges; certain methods and strategies have already been developed for this purpose, such as the holistic admission process proposed by Scott and Zerwic (2015).

Impact of the IOM Report on the Role of the Nurse as a Leader

It is stated that in order to implement the offered innovations in the practice of health care, it is of great importance that nurses develop as leaders; this development needs to start at the very beginning of their education (IOM, 2010). The development of leadership is required if nurses are to assume the roles of full-scale medical services providers, ones that are equal to such specialists as physicians. It is also crucial that a new type of leadership, not one that is related to simply giving orders, but one that is aimed at “working with others as full partners in a context of mutual respect and collaboration,” is developed in nursing professionals, for it has been associated with better patient outcomes, a lower frequency of medical mistakes, as well as with decreased rates of turnover of nursing personnel (IOM, 2010, p. 223; Galletta, Portoghese, Battistelli, & Leiter, 2012). Therefore, a great change in the type of nursing leadership is required if the goals of the report are to be met.


Therefore, IOM (2010) supplies a variety of recommendations pertaining to the development of nursing education and nursing practice, as well as to the growth of nurses as leaders. The implementation of such recommendations should permit for the transformation of the field of medical care in the U.S., which is crucial if the health care services in the United States are to become more accessible to the population, and if the patients are to be provided with the care of a higher quality.

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Elwyn, G., Dehlendorf, C., Epstein, R. M., Marrin, K., White, J., & Frosch, D. L. (2014). Shared decision making and motivational interviewing: Achieving patient-centered care across the spectrum of health care problems. Annals of Family Medicine, 12(3), 270-275. Web.

Galletta, M., Portoghese, I., Battistelli, A., & Leiter, M. (2012). The roles of unit leadership and nurse-physician collaboration on nursing turnover intention. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(8), 1771-1784.

Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Scott, L. D., & Zerwic, J. (2015). Holistic review in admissions: A strategy to diversify the nursing workforce. Nursing Outlook, 63(4), 488-495. Web.

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