The work of the committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative, made four recommendations aimed at improving and transforming nursing in the US. One of the recommendations made by the committee is that nurses should be allowed to discharge all the services, which are within the scope of their training and education. This recommendation was based on the fact that some states still regulate tasks performed by nurses, without considering their training and education (Institute of Medicine, 2010a). For example, few states in the US allow nurses to prescribe drugs without being supervised by medical doctors. The second recommendation made by this committee was that nurse practitioners should be subjected to higher training and education. This education and training should be aimed at inculcating skills that include evidence-based practice, research, leadership, and team work (Institute of Medicine, 2010a).
The committee also recommended that nurses should collaborate and partner with other health care providers. Partnering with other health practitioners involve allowing nurses to identify problems and wasteful practices, design and implement plans aimed at improving healthcare, and monitoring progress (Institute of Medicine, 2010a). In addition, nurses should be allowed to take part in decision making, and sometimes spearhead the decision making process (Donley, 2005). Finally, an efficient information system, and data collection techniques, should be established to enable successful workforce planning. Workforce planning will help in identifying educational changes required in the nursing curriculum, and the deployment of nurses (Institute of Medicine, 2010a).
The importance of the IOM “Future of Nursing” report to the nursing workforce is that it helps in dealing with some of the challenges faced by nurses. First, the report recommends that practice barriers faced by nurses, should be removed so that nurses can discharge their services according to the scope of their training and education (Institute of Medicine, 2010b). In order to achieve this, the report recommends that services that are offered by advanced nurses should be fully covered by Medicare, just like those offered by physicians. Scope of practice, is another challenge faced by nurses (Buerhaus, Donelan, Ulrich, Norman &, Dittus, 2006). The report tackles this challenge by recommending that the scope of practice for nurses should be widened. This can be achieved through boosting Medicaid reimbursements of registered nurses, who provide primary care (Institute of Medicine, 2010b).
The report is also important to the nursing workforce because it advocates for improving the skills of nurses through higher education and training. The report has also advocated for training of more nurses, a factor that will help reduce overworking of nurses caused by the current shortage (Cherry &, Jacob, 2011). For instance, the report proposes that by 2020, the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate qualifications should reach 80%. The report also recommends that nurses should be included in leadership and decision making. Members of various regulatory boards that supervise nurse practitioners do not have a nursing background, and this has contributed to the challenges faced by nurses (Rosseter, 2012).
The intent of the “Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action” initiative is to bring widespread changes in the American health care system, and patient health care. The goal of this campaign is to bring national awareness, on the recommendations made by IOM regarding challenges faced by nurse practitioners (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011). In addition, the campaign is also aimed at organizing and assisting activities meant to generate funds for nursing research. The campaign is based on the premise that solving problems faced by nurses, will automatically lead to solving of challenges faced by the entire health care system. This will enable the provision of patient-centered quality health care to all Americans (Beurhaus, Auerbach &, Staiger, 2009).
The campaign for action, initiated by IOM, has led to the creation of groups in all states that are meant to act on the recommendations of IOM. This is the rationale for state-based coalitions. Moreover, state-based coalitions have been created to ensure that Americans are provided with high quality health care, and nurses play a significant role in providing this care (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011). State-based coalitions advance their health care transformation campaigns based on three pillars, which include enabling nurses to take leadership positions, eliminating barriers in health care provision and practice, and transforming skills of nurses through education (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011).
The California action coalition is currently working on a plan that will allow nurses to discharge their services to an extent allowed by the California laws. One of the challenges faced by nurses in California is that health institutions regulate the scope of practice for nurses through legal means. Currently, the California action coalition is performing a gap analysis aimed at comparing the recommendations of IOM, with the laws of California that govern nursing. The second initiative being undertaken by the action coalition in California is comparing the provisions of the National Council of State Board for Nursing, with those of Board of Registered Nursing. This is meant to widen the scope of practice for nurses, and advance work, leadership, and learning opportunities for nurses (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011).
Beurhaus, P. I., Auerbach, D. I. &, Staiger, D.O. (2009). The recent surge in nurse employment: Causes and implication. Health Affairs, 28(4): 657-667.
Buerhaus, P. I., Donelan, K., Ulrich, B. T., Norman, L. &, Dittus, R. (2006). State of the Registered Nurse Workforce in the United States. Nursing Economics, 24(1): 6-12.
Cherry, B. & Jacob, S. (2011). Contemporary nursing (5th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.
Donley, S. R. (2005). Challenges for Nursing in the 21st Century. Nursing Economics, 23(6): 312-318.
Institute of Medicine. (2010a). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Web.
Institute of Medicine. (2010b). The future of nursing leading change, advancing health: Report recommendations. Web.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2011). About the Campaign. Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. Web.
Rosseter, R. J. (2012). Nursing shortage fact sheet. American Association of College of Nursing. Web.