Professional Development of Nurses

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report has become a document that offers the most comprehensive range of recommendations and changes for improving and transforming healthcare. Its main points are aimed at reforming the education and practice of nurses since they are the most numerical in medicine and have the broadest responsibilities. Consequently, the recommendations of IOM in theory and practice influenced nursing in the United States, explaining the importance of the nursing transformation and suggesting practical measures to change it.

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The four key messages of the report cover all aspects of the practice and education of nurses and suggest actions to improve them. The first message discusses the need to create an environment in which nurses can use the fullness of their knowledge and skills. This item includes changes by the federal government to regulations that allow patients to choose and have access to all medical services and nurses to be more independent in their practice, for example, to prescribe medicines (Institute of Medicine, 2011).

The efforts should also be aimed at changing the structure and infrastructure of hospitals, which would help reduce the overall time for patient care and increase the time for direct treatment, for example, by introducing new technologies.

The second message discusses the need to improve the education system, which contributes to a higher level of nursing knowledge. The proposed changes should be aimed both at improving curricula and offering opportunities for getting higher academic levels for nurse practitioners (Institute of Medicine, 2011). These changes will help BSN-trained nurses better serve patients and be universal, as well as allow nurses with master’s and Ph.D.’s to demonstrate leadership skills to improve the health care system. Thus, creating an environment conducive to constant education of nurses is an essential aspect of improving patient care.

The third message is aimed at involving nurses in making decisions to improve the quality of care and medical services. The authors believe that nurses are the most prominent members of the medical community because they have scientific knowledge, interact with doctors and pharmacists, and are close to patients, and understand their needs (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Therefore, nurses should not only accept and adapt to policy changes but have a voice and actively participate in the restructuring of the system. The fourth message is also related to changes in the system but its information infrastructure.

According to the Institute of Medicine (2011), today the healthcare does not have an efficient data acquisition system. Therefore, the main changes should be created for the introduction of computer technologies that will help to collect relevant data quickly, update, and use them to understand the internal processes in the healthcare system. This aspect will assist in understanding and satisfying the needs of patients and medical personnel.

The IOM’s report had a significant impact on the education and practice of nurses since it explained the need for changes and system deficiencies. According to Buerhaus, Auerbach, and Staiger (2016), the reforms proposed by the report increased the quantity and quality of programs. This improvement allowed nurses to get degrees, which resulted in the grown number of BSN-prepared nurses from 2011 to 2016 by about 35000 people (Buerhaus, Auerbach, & Staiger, 2016).

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The report also opened up more opportunities for career advancement and decent pay for BSN- prepared nurses as hospitals prefer to hire staff with a scientific degree. (“Why are BSN-prepared nurses preferred,” 2017). Consequently, the main advantages for BSN-prepared nurses are educating opportunities that can bring them career growth and higher wages.

Furthermore, the USA is a multinational country where representatives of different ethnic groups live nearby, and they have their characteristics in the worldview, religion, and other aspects that affect the methods of care and treatment. Besides, according to Tabish (2019), “The patient population is aging and becoming increasingly complex, as a result, competencies necessary for today’s health care environment go beyond hands-on practical skill” (p.13). Therefore, the role and education of nurses must evolve and adapt to current trends to meet the needs of patients and offer them the highest quality of care.

For this reason, lifelong learning is the best solution to this problem. Understanding the characteristics of different representatives of social groups helps nurses motivate their patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle and move to a high level of wellness in the health-disease continuum. For example, knowledge of the characteristics of national cuisine can help to create a healthy and acceptable diet for a person. Lifelong learning means that a person is continually searching for knowledge and uses it to meet professional needs (Qalehsari, Khaghanizadeh, & Ebadi, 2017). Therefore, this type of learning can be implemented by using university programs, forums, or researches that address specific issues of nursing practice.

Nurses can participate in improving the health care system in several ways, namely improving their performance, proposing changes in the organization of the hospital, or at the state and country levels. However, the most successful is the promotion of ideas at the state or country level through medical organizations and associations. For this purpose, nurses can conduct research aimed at the improvement of treatment and prevention methods, staff education, or identification lacks the system. Thus, nurses can start the process of reforming and modernizing various aspects of healthcare by stating the need to pay attention to any issues.

In conclusion, the IOM’s report drew attention to the main problems of the healthcare system associated with nursing. The main messages were aimed at reforming the education system for nurses, expanding the possibilities for their practice, improving electronic data collection technologies, and involving nurses in the reform of healthcare. The proposed changes are relevant for modern US medicine since the aging, and increasing diversity of the population requires new approaches to patient care and treatment.

Significant improvement of the education system and the involvement of nurses in the reforming are results of implementing the report’s recommendation. However, these processes must always continue because the main task of medicine is to meet the needs of patients and ensure the health of the nation.


Buerhaus, P., Auerbach D., & Staiger, D. (2016). Recent changes in the number of nurses graduating from undergraduate and graduate programs. Nursing Economic$, 34(1), 46-48.

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Institute of Medicine (IOM). (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Qalehsari, M. Q., Khaghanizadeh, M., & Ebadi, A. (2017). Lifelong learning strategies in nursing: A systematic review. Electronic Physician, 9(10), 5541–5550.

Tabish, S. (2019). Shaping the future of nursing education & practice in the twenty-first century. Global Journal for Research Analysis, 8(8), 13-15.

Why are BSN-prepared nurses preferred? (2017). Web.

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