The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is a national, independent, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide guidance, advice, and analysis of the field of medicine. The recent IOM report regarding the future of nursing gives us a glimpse of the dynamic and progressive changes that the field of nursing will experience in the coming decade. The Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2012) report focuses on the nurses as the largest group of health care professionals and identifies nurses as key leaders in health care reform. The nursing profession is the largest group of healthcare professionals, consisting of over 3 million members (Battie, 2013). As the cornerstone of the medical system and essential in providing patient care, nurses are the key stakeholders in any change in the structure of the medical field. As the healthcare environment continues to evolve, nurses will be expected be at the leading edge of this change. The new changes advocated by IOM will have lasting impacts on nursing education, nursing primary care practice, and impact nursing leadership. Impact of IOM on Nursing Education
Nurses must provide competent and safe care in rapidly changing health care environment. Due to an ever increasing population of patients with chronic diseases, an aging population, and errors in the health care system, care becomes more complex and demands changes in education at all levels of nursing education. Evidence based practice and outcomes are a main focus in today’s providing care. Nurses must be able to apply critical thinking and research to their daily practice (Morris, 2013). The IOM Committee suggests removing scope of practice barriers, expanding leadership roles for nurses, and increasing the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to eighty percent in next five years.
This goal can be achieved by improving the nursing education system, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, and redesigning nursing education to produce well prepared and competent nurses who will be able to meet demands of the health care in the future. The report focuses on training and educating nurses to handle many areas of medicine and to work effectively with other health care professionals. It also tasks nurses with helping to create patient centered health systems and improving nursing care while reducing costs. Impact of IOM Report on Primary Care Practice
According to IOM (2012), teamwork is the most important factor in improving health care. Focusing on a team based approach will maximize and expand the skills of each health care worker and improve patient satisfaction and overall outcome. In addition, many types of care that was previously provided by the physicians will be provided by specialty trained nurses. These trained nurses will provide more uniform care which hews more closely to treatment guidelines. The increased access to quality affordable health care means nurses must taking on new roles in order to meet the demand.
The focus of health care will be primary and preventative care and will allow more advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to take on primary care roles (Schroeder, 2013). They will coordinate care and act as patient advocates. Based on the IOM report, the goal of the nursing practice will be providing patients’ care that is specific to their needs instead of what is convenient for the health care professionals. The key concept underlying all of nursing practice, according to IOM, is for nurses to practice their profession to the fullest extent of their training and education. Impact of IOM Report on Nurse as a Leader
Leadership requires a commitment to constant learning and striving for excellence. A report from the IOM (2010) recognizes the need for strong and capable nursing leaders and suggests preparing nurses at all levels to assume leadership positions by 2020. By assuming leadership roles within their profession, registered nurses will have greater influence on decision making in regards to the future of health care. To have strong leadership skills registered nurses must be knowledgeable and competent in the area of their expertise. Some of the additional competencies include great communication skills, data-driven decision making, health care system operations, and principles of team work and care coordination (Lakasse, 2013). Nurses need to expand leadership skills beyond the clinical setting to improve and support the vision for the health care. Changing Current Practice to Meet the Goals of IOM
As professionals we must remember that we cannot continue to practice based on attitudes such as “we have always done it this way”, or “if is it not broken we do not need to fix it.” We must allow ourselves to grow in our profession and in healthcare. Nurses must be self-motivated to learn and to follow the recommendations from the IOM (2010) by pursuing additional certifications and constantly being students of their craft. In essence, the IOM report advocates improving ourselves in order to help our patients. In the coming years, with the increased number of nurses trained to higher levels, we will see a trend towards an expanded scope of practice, greater autonomy, and uniform practice. This evolution, not only advocated by the IOM but necessitated by the changing healthcare environment, will allow nursing as a profession to take on a greater role not only in the delivery of care but in the development of policy.
As professionals we must remember that we cannot continue to practice based on attitudes such as “we have always done it this way”, or “if is it not broken we do not need to fix it.” We must allow ourselves to grow in our profession and a healthcare. When nurses work at their full capacity in their profession they can meet demands of a complex diverse group of patients. A more developed strength can evolve among other professions to meet a goal of better patient outcomes. Furthermore, when working together more ideas are brought forth to improve health care. I can change my practice in meeting the goal of the IOM report by fully taking advantage of my profession.
I would stay educated to provide evidence based practice and be a part of inter professional collaboration to provide quality care. I know that in the nursing profession staying abreast of the healthcare system involving both research and evidence based practice can benefit clinical practice in primary care and beyond. I would maintain continuum of perusing higher education to build on my foundation, to be equipped for the complexity and diversity in the health care now and the future.
BattiÉ, R. N. (2013). The IOM Report on the Future of Nursing: What Perioperative Nurses Need to Know. AORN Journal, 98(3), 227-234. doi:10.1016/j.aorn.2013.07.007 IOM scholars focus on empowering nurses, shaping policy. (2013). American Nurse, 45(6), 11. Lacasse, C. (2013). Developing Nursing Leaders for the Future: Achieving Competency for Transformational Leadership. Oncology Nursing Forum, 40(5), 431-433. doi:10.1188/13.ONF.431-433 Morris, T. L., & Hancock, D. R. (2013). Institute of Medicine Core Competencies as a Foundation for NURSING PROGRAM EVALUATION. Nursing Education Perspectives, 34(1), 29-33. Schroeder, R. T. (2013). AORN Efforts to Support the IOM Report on the Future of Nursing. AORN Journal, 98(3), 209-213. doi:10.1016/j.aorn.2013.07.010