The influence of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” and state-based action coalitions on nursing practice, education, and workforce development has been substantial. This paper will discuss the impact of the IOM report and state-based action coalitions on these aspects of the nursing profession, and how they continue to advance its goals.
The IOM report, “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” was a result of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Committee Initiative. This initiative aimed to respond to the need for change and improvement in the nursing profession in order to meet the evolving and complex healthcare needs of the population. The report identified several areas of focus, including the need for nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training, the importance of nursing leadership in healthcare delivery, the need to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce, and the importance of data collection and research to inform nursing policies and practices.
The four key messages that structure the IOM report recommendations are as follows:
1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training. This message has transformed nursing practice by encouraging nurses to take on more advanced roles and responsibilities. For example, some states have expanded the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), allowing them to diagnose and prescribe medication, which has increased access to care in underserved areas. In terms of education and training, the report called for an increase in the number of nurses with baccalaureate and higher degrees. This has influenced nursing education by prompting many nursing schools to offer accelerated programs for individuals with non-nursing degrees to achieve a BSN or higher degree.
2. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system. This message has influenced nursing education by promoting the importance of academic progression. Many nursing schools have implemented programs that facilitate seamless transitions from associate degree in nursing (ADN) programs to BSN programs. This has resulted in an increase in the number of nurses with higher degrees, which contributes to better patient outcomes and improved healthcare quality.
3. Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other healthcare professionals, in redesigning healthcare in the United States. This message has had a significant impact on nursing leadership. It recognizes the valuable contributions that nurses can make in improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. As a result, nurses are now involved in leadership roles at all levels of the healthcare system, from bedside care to executive positions. This has led to increased collaboration among healthcare professionals and a more comprehensive approach to patient care.
4. Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure. This message emphasizes the importance of evidence-based practice and data collection in informing nursing policies and practices. It has led to increased efforts to collect and analyze nursing workforce data in order to make informed decisions and address gaps in staffing and resources. This has resulted in more effective workforce planning and policy making, which ultimately leads to improved patient outcomes.
State-based action coalitions play a crucial role in advancing the goals specified in the IOM report. These coalitions bring together various stakeholders, including nurses, nurse educators, healthcare providers, and policymakers, to collaborate and take action on the report’s recommendations. They work towards implementing changes at the state level that align with the IOM report’s goals.
In the state of Illinois, the Illinois Action Coalition (ILAC) is actively working on several initiatives. One initiative is to increase the number of nurses with higher degrees by promoting seamless progression programs from ADN to BSN. ILAC is also working to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce by providing scholarships and support to underrepresented groups. These initiatives align with the IOM report’s recommendations and aim to improve the quality of healthcare in the state.
There are several barriers to advancement in the nursing profession in Illinois. One significant barrier is the shortage of nursing faculty, which limits the capacity of nursing schools to admit more students and offer advanced degree programs. To overcome this barrier, nursing advocates in Illinois have been working to increase funding and support for nursing education programs, as well as advocating for policies that incentivize nurses to pursue teaching positions. Another barrier is the lack of recognition and reimbursement for the full extent of nursing practice, particularly for APRNs. Nursing advocates in Illinois are working to change policies and regulations to ensure that APRNs have full practice authority and are able to provide care to the full extent of their education and training.
In conclusion, the IOM report and state-based action coalitions have had a significant influence on nursing practice, education, and workforce development. The recommendations from the IOM report have transformed nursing practice, education, leadership, and workforce planning. State-based action coalitions, such as the Illinois Action Coalition, are working towards implementing these recommendations at the state level and overcoming barriers to advancement in the nursing profession. The ongoing work of these coalitions continues to advance the goals set forth in the IOM report and improve the nursing profession as a whole.