Nursing represents the largest sector in the health profession with more than 3 million registered members in the U.S. Nurses plays a critical role in promoting quality health care. This is the reason that the committee sought to evaluate the role that nurses can play in addressing the increasing demand for safe, high quality, and effective healthcare sector. It is this need that made the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation approach the Institute of Medicine (IOM) bearing a proposal that suggested a partnership between the two organizations. The collaboration between these two organizations brought on board a wide range of expertise and content expertise. The collaboration lead to the creation of a 2-year Initiative on the Future of Nursing, with its cornerstone being the Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing. This paper will analyze the work that the committee carried out towards enhancing the required changes in the nursing professional, discuss the importance of the report in relation to nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing workforce development, and determine the role of state-based action coalition and their impact on advancing the targets of the Future of Nurse: Campaign for Action.
Evaluation of the Works of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee Initiative
Through its deliberations, the committee of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee Initiative established four major messages. These included one; nurses need to practice to the full extent of their education and training. The second message stated that nurses need to acquire higher and advanced levels of education and training, which mandated the presence of an improved education system that would ensure the attainment of seamless academic advancements. The third message was that nurses needed to considered as full partners alongside physicians and other health professionals in the process of redesigning healthcare in the United States. The last message was that effective workforce planning and policy-making required improved data collection and more advanced information infrastructure. The committee activities led to the creation of a vision that sought to attain total transformations to the healthcare sector in the United States, which would address the challenges and issues that were prevalent in the health care sector (Committee, Robert & IOM, 2011). The committee considered and appreciated that nurses had important insights and unique abilities to offer. If they were given the chance of acting as partners with other healthcare professionals, it would lead to an improvement in the delivery of quality and safe care as had been indicated in the Affordable Care Act that had been earlier enacted.
The committee regarded the need to ensure that healthcare was accessible to the diverse American population. Being made up of key stakeholders in the healthcare industry, the committee held the view that it was essential to improve the role that healthcare providers, especially nurses played in the provision of better healthcare services. The committee envisioned a future that would be characterized by prevention and primary care forming the major drivers of the healthcare system and that would allow greater levels of coordination and interpersonal collaboration.
Importance of the IOM “Future of Nursing” Report
Among the major importance of the report was that it highlighted the vision of healthcare. This was an ideal approach of pointing out to the roadmap that the healthcare needed to follow to ensure that it would address the healthcare needs of the community. The committee envisioned a system that would make quality healthcare accessible to the diverse populations within the United States, positioned to promote wellness and disease prevention, be reliable in delivering improved healthcare outcomes, and ensure the provision of compassionate care across the healthcare sector. The committee highlighted the need to create a system that advocated for the payment for health care services based on the value offered as opposed to the volume of services and ensuring that quality care would be affordable to members of the society (Cherry & Jacob, 2014).
The IOM “Future of Nursing” report highlighted the importance of experience based on the practice of good practitioners. The report noted a condition that was prevailing where most nurses engaged in the healthcare sector were registered nurses with only a small fraction being engaged as an advanced practice registered nurses who have masters in doctoral degrees and been certified. The report described the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to be comprised of four categories, which include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives. The report was very influential in describing an aligned process that would allow for strict practice and harmonizing of the licensing rules between different states.
The report by the committee was also important in that it set objectives that were focused on enhancing the ratio of baccalaureate of the fully prepared nurses to 85% by 2020, as well as, doubling the number of nurses bearing doctorate degree. This was noted as an ideal approach to having not just enough numbers, but also quality healthcare workforce with the capability of meeting the current and future needs of the larger community.
Role of State-based Action Coalitions
The state-based action coalitions are essential in achieving better health care outcomes. Action coalition has been noted to be a major driving force in the campaign at the local and state levels. These action coalitions have been noted to be engaged in the work of campaign at the local, regional, and state levels. The action coalitions are advocates from the community engaged in the responsibility of creating healthier communities through nursing. The action coalition works with the campaign to put into implementation the recommendation of the report given by the Institute of Medicine, which has had an effect in the improvement of nursing services. The committee proposed the need to collaborate with the AARP to organize nonpartisan coalitions that would be focused on pushing forward the IOM committee’s recommendation. Such an action coalition would carry out campaigns focused on enhancing collaboration of different stakeholders, activated on local, state, and national levels, communicate the call to action and offer the capabilities to ensure accountability (Reinhard, & Hassmiller, 2012).
Minnesota’s State Coalition
The Minnesota Action Coalition is engaged in working to transform health care through nursing in the state. This follows the understanding that Minnesota has unique challenges and needs that must be addressed. This requires the active participation of stakeholders to generate innovative solutions to assist nurses taking an active role. One of the initiatives undertaken by the campaign is the “State Implementation Program”, which seeks to achieve the IOM’s report of increasing the proportion of nurses with BSN degrees to 80% by 2020. The initiative focuses on increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in Minnesota using dual enrollment in the MANE community colleges and universities. Another program common in Minnesota is the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) movement that aims to address children lifestyle diseases such as reduction of obesity rates by encouraging them to be physically active. Among the barriers to improved healthcare in Minnesota, include lack of access to healthcare for some members of the community. This is common phenomenon that faces minorities such as Latinos in the state of Minnesota. This further escalates due to factors such as high costs of insurance and the strict eligibility requirements. The state action coalition can help eliminate the barrier to healthcare access by running campaigns and lobby for fairness in the provision of healthcare access to all members of the community.
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