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The Institute of Medicine’ Impact on Nursing


This essay reviews impacts of the IMO (Institute of Medicine) Report 2010 on nursing education, nursing practices, and nurse role as a leader. It provides critical, thoughtful insights on how students can improve or change their thoughts in order to meet the IOM Report recommendations.

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The Impact of IOM Report on Nursing Education

The report recommends training of nurses on residency, increasing the number of nurses who have bachelor’s degree to 80 percent by the year 2020 and the number of nurses who are seeking doctorate degrees by the same number (Institute of Medicine, 2011).

In order to realize these nursing education objectives, both public and private institutions have to support nurses who have diploma and associate degree qualifications to allow them to pursue bachelor’s degree. Moreover, these supporters should also ensure that several nurses achieve master’s degree or doctoral degree programs.

The report also alludes that the health care sector can achieve advantages in specific areas of training, skills, and knowledge, which could improve patient care. However, regulatory impediments and institutional obstacles continue to limit training and acquisition of knowledge. Hence, there is a need to eliminate these barriers. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) face barriers despite their high-levels of skills, which can help in meeting the rising demand in primary health care.

Previous studies have shown that APRNs have delivered high quality primary care due to their increased roles and responsibilities in health care facilities. If these recommendations are effected, then APRNs will have opportunities to practice according to their training, qualifications, and skills.

On this regard, the goal of nursing education should be to increase nursing discipline and capacity of nursing schools, and reevaluate and redesign nursing education to allow it to provide many well-trained nurses, who are well equipped to meet the current and future demands in primary health care.

The Impact of IOM Report on Nursing Practice

The IOM recommends that nurses should practice to their full scope (Institute of Medicine, 2011). This implies that nurses must enhance their capacity across different areas of health care. In addition, there is a need to eliminate all barriers for both APRNs and RNs to allow them to enhance their practices, address shortages in primary care, and prevention of chronic diseases in different settings where they practice.

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Nursing practice requires nurses to evaluate and consider how nursing and the health care system will evolve because of the ongoing reforms. Hence, nurse students and practicing nurses should review their career goals and identify factors that can help them to advance their profession. These factors may involve advancing practice by engaging in further studies, research, and achieving advanced qualifications.

Nurses must optimize their abilities in order to provide quality care in different areas because of their skills, knowledge, and training. It is imperative to recognize that the health reform law will increase the number of Americans with medical coverage. Consequently, the need for many primary care providers will also rise significantly, and APRNs must prepare effectively to take these roles.

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

The IOM report recommends that nurse leadership should take the lead throughout the health care system. It recognizes that full contributions of nurse leaders and nurses are critical for delivery of optimal, patient-oriented care. Hence, education should prepare and allow nurses to provide and lead change in improving health care. Nurses must be leaders and complete partners in the health care sector (American Nurses Association, 2011).

There are several opportunities, which are available for nurses to demonstrate their leadership abilities. They can play critical roles in decision-making processes, lead health care reforms, and demonstrate real efforts. Nurses have good knowledge about the health care sector. Hence, they can formulate effective solutions for challenges in the health care system.

Associations of nurses should ensure that nurses have greater engagement and leadership roles in their different areas of work, including state and national levels. Such leadership responsibilities will allow nurses to redesign various modes of health delivery and focus on patients and safety for all stakeholders.

Nurses occupy the front line in the health care system. Hence, they understand the system in unique manner than other stakeholders. Nurses can use their knowledge and skills as leaders to improve the quality of care and reduce costs of health care delivery. The IOM report emphasized the importance of optimizing abilities of nurses in order improve health care services for the diverse American populations.

For these recommendations to work, nurses must collaborate and work together. In addition, nurses must also work alongside other important players in order to implement and achieve desired changes, which would offer high quality health care.

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The IOM report requires nurses to have a strong foundation in education so that they can acquire highest qualifications and prepare adequately to practice within their full scope according to their training, mitigate current and future challenges in health care, and take leadership roles in promoting nursing. On this note, health care institutions, nurse employers, public and private organizations, and other stakeholders must offer nurses opportunities to meet IOM recommendations.

However, Pletcher and Rimsza observed that the IOM Report 2010 neglected or narrowly addressed issues of nurse shortage, minimum standards for nurses, and showed no interest in underserved areas and pediatrics (Pletcher and Rimsza, 2010).


American Nurses Association. (2011). ANA, CMA and OA activities reflected in the IOM recommendations. Web.

Institute of Medicine. (2011). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Pletcher, B., and Rimsza, M. E. (2010). Academy voices concerns with IOM report on future of nursing. Web.

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