Grand Canyon University
September 6, 2014
Impact of IOM on The Nursing Profession
Nurses are at the frontlines of providing patient care, regardless of care setting. With new healthcare practice environments and requirements under the healthcare reform, as well as the growing patient population, the nurse’s role is in the midst of transformation. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report; The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health addresses the challenges that the nursing profession faces in light of the changing healthcare landscape and addresses changes needed to the nursing profession as America’s healthcare system undergoes change. As a result, of the changing healthcare environment, nursing will also need to undergo transformation. This paper will address the IOM’s report findings on nursing education, practice and leadership.
The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Education Nursing is not a profession where once the license is obtained that education stops. In order to provide safe patient-centered care, a nurse must participate in continuous education. The field of nursing is one that is ever changing and in response to healthcare reform, nurses must be able to transition to an environment of collaboration with other healthcare professionals across a variety of practice environments. While the report indicates that the educational goals of nursing remain the same, education now must be adapted to include preparation in not only meeting the diversity in patient needs and nursing leadership, but advance science to improve patient benefits (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p. 164). There is currently a healthcare movement to progress from associates-degree Level nurses to requirement entry-level nurses to hold a baccalaureate degree while encouraging nurses to continue their education to higher levels. This fits nicely with the new models of care that are outlined in the IOM report. As Creasia & Friberg (2011) point out, nursing education is driven by developments in healthcare and professional issues unique to nursing (p. 38). As nursing care becomes more complex and begins to shift to a greater emphasis on care outside the hospital, nursing education will need to continually evolve to prepare nurses with the ability to progress from standard nursing care to more involve patient care which will encompass coordination of patient care and the prevention of acute care episodes, as well as serving as primary care providers (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p. 170). The days of just become a registered nurse are clearly vanishing as the nursing profession strives to keep up with the growing healthcare complexities and demands. As the nurse practice arena evolves and nurses are expected to provide an advanced level of care, nurses will be required to obtain higher levels of certification and licensure to deliver the expected higher level of safe patient care. New graduate nurses may find it difficult to obtain nursing positions without having participated in some sort of residency program first.
The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Practice The IOM report emphasizes the importance of nurses practicing to the full extent of their education and training to fulfill the roles of primary care and community care (Institute of Medicine, 2011, p. 86). Nursing roles will continue to expand and nurses must be prepared to take on higher level of patient care. These role changes primary focus on advanced practice nurses in various health environments. According to the report, these new roles will focus more on wellness and prevention of illness, chronic disease management and increased primary care (Kunic & Jackson, 2013, p. 2). While nursing roles are expected to undergo expansion and become an increasingly integral part in providing healthcare, there are however, barriers that can inhibit nursing practice. These barriers include physician resistance, scope of