The future of nursing leading change, advancing health

Nursing: A Crucial Role in Patient Care

Nursing is the most important part of health care since it plays such an important role in patient care. Every patient interacts with nurses from the moment they enter the hospital until they are discharged. Several factors can obstruct good nursing, and learning new techniques and information about the ever-changing and improving medical care systems is essential for all nurses. Nurses require better working conditions as well as access to knowledge on how to improve their patient care abilities and grow.

The Importance of Nursing in Various Settings

The nursing profession is broad, with numerous nurses of various degrees ranging from registered nurses to scientist nurses; all are important in providing quality patient care. Settings where the nursing practice is relevant include schools, warzone areas, hospitals, homes, retail health care clinics, and long-term care facilities. All the mentioned areas must have great nursing care otherwise a lot of deaths may occur or even high rates of critically ill patients may be the case. In order to have a more in-depth look at nursing and how to improve the system, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered with Institute of Medicine launched an initiative for two years. The initiative focused on the need to assess and transform the nursing field, and to produce recommendations and action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013). The committee on The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had to consider the roles of nurses, level of education and setting in the process of envisioning the future of the nursing profession. In the process, the committee was well able to develop four key messages that help structure the recommendations in the final Institute of Medicine report.

Training and Education: Empowering Nurses

The importance of the Institute of Medicine report on future of nursing sheds some light on nurse training, education, professional leadership, and workforce policy. On training, it is important that nurses practice to the full extent of their education and training. Scope-of-practice barriers should be removed so that nurses have the freedom to practice to their full extent depending on educational qualifications and training they have (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013). Most nurses are registered nurses but so many others are an advanced practice registered nurses that have doctoral degrees and masters (Institute of Medicine on the National Academics, 2010). The scope-of-practice regulations limit the kind of work that nurses can perform in many states for example nurse practitioners can see patients and prescribe medication without the supervision of a physician some do not allow. Nurse midwives, nurse anesthetics, nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners are basically all licensed as advanced practice registered nurses, this means that the state laws that they work with restrict their performance and not their education or training (Institute of Medicine on the National Academics, 2010). The report has made a bunch of recommendations to the legislators, center for Medicare and Medicaid services asking that they ensure that all nurses can practice to their full extents and not just on laws that ties them to limited activities when they can do so much more (Institute of Medicine on the National Academics,2010).

Advancing the Nursing Profession through Education

Nurses should achieve a greater level of training and education through an improved education system that is based on promoting academic progression that is seamless (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013). Nurses need to acquire higher levels of competencies as the years go by since patients are becoming more and more complicated. Diseases have increased in complications and thus the nurses caring for patients are in need of higher training and advanced information on the new set of patients in the ever-changing medical system. Competencies in health policies, leadership, teamwork and collaborations, advanced research practice, and system improvements are the most important issues that need to be addressed. Not forgetting specific content areas such as geriatrics, community, and public health which are very pivotal and at the heart of good community health care. The proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degree needs to increase in the next few years so that there is full knowledge and competence in dealing with patients with advanced issues.

Professional Leadership and Partnerships

In the quest to redesign healthcare in the United States nurses, health care professionals, and physicians need to be in full partnership. Professional leadership efforts within the nursing field are key in helping nurses be prepared to improve their field and advance their professional knowledge (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013). A partnership involves being ready to take full responsibility for identifying areas of system waste and creating and implementing plans to improve the system (Institute of Medicine on the National Academics, 2010). The improvements should also be monitored and adjusted to reach the intended target and time limit that was set in the beginning. Given that nurses are the most active in patient care, means that they are able and well equipped to make changes that affect patient care. Nurses should be actively involved in the advisory board where policies to improve healthcare are offered. It is also an individual duty to all nurses to push themselves into acquiring more education and training for their personal and professional growth by developing leadership skills and practicing the competencies throughout their caregiving.

Revolutionizing Healthcare with Better Data Collection

Building an infrastructure for the collection and analysis of interprofessional healthcare workforce is a brilliant way to revolutionize the health care system. For effective workforce planning and policy making require an improved information infrastructure and better data collection. The systematic monitoring of health workers supply across professions should be the main priority and every collected data needs to be precise and in the access of the public when if need be.

State Action for Better Nursing

The state action based coalitions make sure that the recommendations for the future of nursing under the campaign for action is carried out at the local and state level. The main focus and agenda are making sure that healthier communities exist through the nursing profession.

Improving Nursing in New York

NYS action coalition and the AARP Foundation have made initiatives to improve nursing in the state of New York, two of the initiatives being removing the scope-of-practice barriers and increasing the number of registered nurses to 80% by the year 2020 (,2012). The only barriers to the adjustments are the laws that may take time to amend the extent of practice on advanced practice registered nurses and resources that are available to train more nurses. The government needs to keep the nurses as a priority and avail funds for nurse training and the legislators need to ensure the laws on scope-of-practice are amended.

Investing in Nursing for a Better Healthcare System

When nursing as a medical profession is advanced and the implementations of the recommendations take place the health care system will improve tremendously. Taking into consideration the extent of importance that nurses carry in a patient's life it should be a priority for healthcare providers and the medical community to invest deeply in nursing.


Institute of Medicine on the National Academies. (2010). The future of nursing leading change, advancing health. Retrieved November 9, 2017, from of-Nursing/Future%20of%20Nursing%202010%20Report%20Brief.pdf

Nurse.Com (2012). New York action coalition makes progress on IOS recommendations. Retrieved November 9, 2017, from action-coalition-makes-progress-on-iom-recommendations/

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2013). The future of nursing, campaign for action. Retrieved

November 9, 2017, from

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