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Impact of the IOM report on nursing education, practice and role as a leader

The Institute of medicine came up with various recommendations that have greatly impacted how nursing practitioners are acquiring education in the United States. This impact was especially based on their realization that there existed a dire need for highly trained nurses that could be able to deal with the diverse health needs of Americans who were faced with dramatically changing illnesses. It was, for instance, realized that the training nurses were obtaining in the 20th century was getting outdated and irrelevant. This realization was because in the 21st century patients’ needs and environments had become even more complex unlike earlier on. To achieve this, new measures to train nurses had to be sought and as such the IOM report impacting greatly on the nursing education.1One impact of the IOM report was its recommendation of an improved education system, which finally got to be implemented in some states across the United States (Dunphy & Winland, 2011). The nursing curricula got reexamined and updated in such a way that it could easily accommodate the patients’ irregularly alternating needs. As well, the role of science and technology had to be understood by the trainees regarding its use and application in the health provision exercise.

Another role the report played was its recommendation on the requirements for one to join the nursing profession in terms of academic qualifications, with nursing having three major possible educational pathways that are to say a degree, diploma, or associate degree in nursing, all of which finally can land one-self a career in nursing (Dunphy & Winland, 2011). However, with all these pathways, there still was noted a deficiency in nursing providers which led to the recommendation of there being an enrollment and subsequent increase of baccalaureate degrees in nursing.

Additionally, the IOM recommended that schools, both public and private that offered nursing courses seek to improve themselves in such a way that the graduates they release from their institutions can perform their duties as practitioners, leaders, teachers, and researchers in the nursing field. As well the process of learning by nurses was recommended to be lifelong and not short-term and limited as was in the 20th century.

Impact of the IOM report on nursing practice

The IOM report has greatly impacted nursing as a profession, especially for primary care providers. There have been noticed high turnover rates that have greatly negatively impacted the stability of primary care providers in the United States. in such the IOM suggested that focus is made on handling the school-to-practice transition. As well, there is a need for the graduates to acquire practical skills outside the classrooms for purposes of better health provision, and the IOM report recommends nurse residency programs offer an extra experience for graduates that have just left college or those that have shifted areas of operations. These residencies assist the graduates in learning skills for offering safe and high-quality services to patients.

Secondly, the report has been of value to the future of nursing in that it has been instrumental in changing the healthcare system. For instance, previously, nurses were regarded only as assistants, extenders or substitutes to physicians, which therefore caused an under-utilization of the nurses’ skills and knowledge.

The inconsistency of state regulations on the scope of nurses’ roles and extent of work has also been narrowed, and there is some uniformity across the United States on what is within the scope of the nurses’ duties, thanks to the IOM report. Initially, state laws were restrictive to the nurses’ ability to provide some particular services, arguing from the legal point of view. Whereas some states noticed the quick changes affecting the roles of nurses and kept themselves updated, some states remained in the old days. This prompted many nursing organizations to reach a consensus on what standardization model could be fit for use throughout the federal state, what thing ensured every nurse understood their roles (Dunphy & Winland, 2011). As well, this reduced duplication of roles between physicians and nurses.

The role of the IOM report on the nurse’s role as a leader

The IOM report recommended various steps that could be instrumental in improving the role of a nurse as a leader in their places of work as nurses. The report suggests that nurses be prepared and enabled to lead change in their workplaces proactively. These changes could be achieved by aiming to achieve specific goals.

One of the goals was to educate the nurses to ensure they unceasingly grow themselves professionally and personally by learning and proactively looking for all possible opportunities to advance their leadership skills. Secondly, nurses’ unions, organizations, and associations were encouraged to offer leadership growth, mentorships and chances for every member to lead the associations from time to time. Lastly, a recommendation is made for all healthcare decision-makers to encourage often, facilitate and involve nurses’ representation every time a decision needs to be made (Dunphy & Winland, 2011).


The role of the Institute of Medicine in the nursing profession right from educating the nurses, to their role as health care providers, and as leaders in their field of work is immeasurable. It is, therefore, safe to say, its recommendations are probably the reason the nursing profession is one of the most respected professions in the United States (Dunphy & Winland, 2011). This is because their recommendations, having been implemented have not only caused satisfaction to the nurses but also has it improved healthcare provision to the ever-changing, diverse, and complex health conditions of a diverse population in the country.


Dunphy L. M., Winland-Brown J. E (2011): Primary care: The art and science of advanced practice nursing. F.A. Davis.ISBN9780803626478



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