The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report titled “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” has had a significant impact on the nursing profession. The report focuses on transforming practice, education, and leadership in nursing to meet the evolving healthcare needs of the population. This paper will explore the impact of the IOM report on nursing education, nursing practice (specifically in primary care), and the role of the nurse as a leader.
One of the key recommendations of the IOM report is to increase the educational level of nurses in the United States. The report calls for 80% of nurses to hold a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree by 2020. This recommendation has influenced nursing education programs across the country to develop strategies to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses. Additionally, many hospitals and healthcare organizations have implemented policies that require nursing staff to obtain a higher level of education. This shift in educational requirements has encouraged nurses to pursue advanced degrees, such as Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), in order to meet the demands of the healthcare system.
In terms of practice, the IOM report emphasizes the importance of nurses working to the full extent of their scope of practice. It highlights the need for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), such as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, to be able to practice independently and have full prescriptive authority. This recommendation has led to changes in state regulations and licensing requirements, allowing APRNs to provide primary care services to patients without the supervision of a physician. This expanded role for APRNs has helped to improve access to care, particularly in underserved areas where there is a shortage of primary care providers.
Furthermore, the IOM report recognizes the vital role of nurses as leaders in healthcare. It calls for nurses to be full partners with physicians and other healthcare professionals in the redesign and improvement of healthcare systems. Nurses are encouraged to participate in decision-making processes at all levels of healthcare organizations, including policy development and implementation. This shift in the perception of nurses as leaders has resulted in increased opportunities for nurses to take on leadership positions in healthcare settings. Many nurses are now serving as chief nursing officers, nurse managers, and even as members of hospital boards. This increased visibility and involvement in leadership roles allows nurses to contribute their unique perspective and expertise to the overall improvement of healthcare delivery.
In order to meet the goals of the IOM report, changes need to be made in nursing practice. As a nurse working in primary care, one way I would change my practice is by pursuing further education to obtain an advanced degree, such as a MSN or DNP. This would enable me to provide a higher level of care to my patients and expand my scope of practice. Additionally, I would actively engage in interdisciplinary collaboration and work closely with healthcare professionals from different disciplines to improve patient outcomes. By taking on leadership roles in my practice setting, I would advocate for policies and practices that promote patient-centered care and address the needs of the community.
In conclusion, the 2010 IOM report on the Future of Nursing has had a significant impact on nursing education, practice, and leadership. It has influenced the development of educational programs, the expansion of nursing roles in primary care, and the recognition of nurses as leaders in healthcare. By implementing the recommendations of the IOM report, nurses are playing a key role in transforming the healthcare system and improving patient outcomes.