The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” in 2010, which made a series of recommendations for the roles of nurses in the new health care landscape. Now, five years later, the IOM, in addition to its sponsor the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), has revisited the report to gauge the progress made in implementing the report’s recommendations.
The report included six target areas:
- Advancing education transformation
- Leveraging nursing leadership
- Removing barriers to practice and care
- Fostering interprofessional collaboration
- Promoting diversity
- Bolstering workforce data
The committee has found that significant progress has been made, including the creation of 51 state Action Coalitions. However, the committee points out that more work still needs to be done, particularly in addressing challenges related to scope of practice, education, collaboration, leadership, diversity and data. The committee suggests continuing the advancement of the nursing profession by driving activity in the following three areas:
- Build a broader network to increase awareness of nurses’ ability to full engage in health professions practice, education, collaboration and leadership
- Continue to prioritize diversity in the nursing workforce
- Harness better data to assess and drive progress
These advancements aren’t going to happen on their own, and, as leaders in the healthcare environment, NPD specialists should take a strong interest in promoting these goals. Advance education and residency programs, call for philanthropic organizations to support programs, give recommendations for collegiate partnerships, create educational pathways, move the bar on generic entry-level programs and more are all endeavors NPD specialists can take on to promote progress.