Over the years, it has been established that the health care system in the USA needs improvement especially when it comes to nursing. This had triggered research conducted by several organizations in an attempt to identify the underlying problems in the nursing field and come up with mechanisms of alleviating these shortcomings with time. The leading body in this research was the Institute of Medicine which led to the tabling of a report, whose implementation would see a transformation in nursing across all the states in the USA. Some of the supporting bodies include but are not limited to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and state based coalitions.
Work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee Initiative
The foundation played the role of incorporating a committee which conveyed meetings to collect information from the research done by the IOM, after which a report based on the recommendations by the members of the committee would be generated (Blair, 2009). The committee was composed of several research experts, each with the required credentials to come up with the most comprehensive report on how to achieve the objectives of the initiative. The aim of the research was to explore the best mechanisms for increasing the access to health care, elevating the quality of the services and lowering the cost of the services (Blair, 2009). The goal of the initiative was therefore to come up with a transformational report about how in future; nursing can have better standards at costs which do not strain the people.
The main function of the initiative is to sponsor better nursing in future by providing all resources required for the research, including but not limited to human resources and finance. The foundation works with different organizations to better the lives of Americans as far as health care is concerned. The committee looks into health research reports and makes recommendations which help in the designing of better healthcare systems. The recommendations also aid in the implementation of necessary changes in the system.
Institute of Medicine Research
The research conducted by IOM under the sponsorship of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation helped expose the points of weakness in the nursing profession in America (Blair, 2009). The research revealed the key problems being faced by patients in relation to nursing. The research then explored some of the change models that could be adopted in the nursing profession in general, to help solve the existing problems.
The research revealed that the number of people requiring nursing services had increased while that of nurses available to provide the services had decreased (Blair, 2009). This led to the committee recommending mechanisms of increasing the number of nurses, at the training level. The research also revealed that the educational programs used in training nurses required an update. The educational capacity was also another area which required special attention (Blair, 2009). The recommendations provided the course of action for the initiative which included but was not limited to changes in public policies and institutional policies at the three levels of government.
Importance of the Report Relative to Nursing Practice
The “Future of Nursing” report gave an insight into the vital role played by nurses in health-care. The report showed that nurses consisted of the largest work force in the health care system, in terms of number. The report emphasized on the fact that it is the nurses who interact with patients for the longest duration, which means that they are in the best position to know what the patients think about the care being provided (Blair, 2009). This gives an immediate basis for improvement of services in the sector, through direct feedback. The report also shows that there is a shortage of nurses, and therefore recommends for an increase in the work force. This would help make work easier and more efficient, because the nurse to patient ratio will become favorable to the nurses, eliminating poor services which arise due to fatigue. The report also recommended the introduction of more support mechanisms such as technology which would make services better.
The report took into considerations the shortcomings of the nursing education being offered by training institutions. These included but were not restricted to the outdated programs as well as the inadequate number of training institutions for nurses. The recommendations, therefore, included but were not limited to increasing the number of training institutions and revising the existing nursing programs. This would help make the education system better and consequently produce better nurses in future.
Work Force Development
The report showed considered how the role of nurses in health care is normally taken for granted and highlighted the importance of the profession being reconceptualized. The report also emphasized the need to address the shortage in nurses and also the use of technologies which make service provision more efficient and effective. The report recommended for the incorporation of new care solutions through investment in research and development related to nursing.
State-Based Action Coalitions
These coalitions carry out transformational operations in the nursing field with the aim of promoting better health care in their areas of locality. The coalitions carry out campaigns which encourage other stakeholders in the community to take part in the exercise of improving health care by paying special attention to nursing. This helps in achieving the goals of the “future of nursing”.
Over the years, it was not possible for colleges in the rural areas in Minnesota to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This made it very difficult for the students in rural areas to acquire BSN and consequently the shortage of nurses was profound. However, the action coalition has by the aid of other organizations such as the RWJF seen the formation of a partnership between the Metropolitan State University and seven colleges in the rural areas (Action, 2014). This will make it easier for more people in the state to acquire degrees in nursing, increasing the work force in future.
Another initiative supported by the state action coalition of Minnesota was that for the passing of the law which gives full practice authority to APRNs (Action, 2014). This helped to increase the patient’s access to quality services at affordable costs. These two initiatives advance the nursing profession by ensuring that the available nurses provide services to the best of their abilities. This is achieved through reducing the shortage of nurses and giving the nurses the maximum permissible freedom to operate.
Some of the barriers to advancement of nursing which exist in Minnesota include but are not limited to a low capacity of nursing schools, lack of new technologies to make nursing more efficient and a shortage of nurses (Action, Minnesota Removes Barriers to Full Practice Authority for APRNs, 2014). The nursing advocates can address these barriers by organizing and seeing the implementation of an increase in the number of nursing schools. The advocates can also partner with different stakeholders to introduce innovative technological solutions into some of the services provided.
Action, C. f. (2014, July 16). In the States: Making BSN Education Accessible to Minnesotans in Their Home Communities. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from Campaign for Action: https://campaignforaction.org/minnesota-alliance-for-nursing-education-making-bsns-accessible/
Action, C. f. (2014, May 19). Minnesota Removes Barriers to Full Practice Authority for APRNs. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from Campaign for Action: https://campaignforaction.org/minnesota-removes-barriers-full-practice-authority-aprns/
Blair, M. (2009). Unprecedented Initiative on the Future of Nursing Launched. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation .