Such organizations as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) play an essential role in forming the vision for the future of nursing. They identify major challenges existing in the practice of nursing today and the main competencies that practitioners will need to develop and activities which they will need to adhere to overcome those challenges. Thus, for every nurse who wants to excel in the profession and contribute to its improvement, the awareness of and compliance with the IOM and the QSEN guidelines and standards are pivotal.
The IOM released The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health in 2010, and, in this document, it provided a list of recommendations for the enhancement of nursing care. One of those recommendations emphasized a need for practitioners to engage in lifelong learning and attain higher levels of education. As noted by Atman, Butler, and Shern, the advancement of skills is necessary for keeping up with a rapid change in “the needs of the increasingly complex, team-based health care system.” At the present moment, I incorporate this idea into my practice by participating in a baccalaureate program. After graduating, I intend to continue my education, both formal and informal, to update my skills and knowledge regularly and increase my expertise.
As for the QSEN’s list of nursing competencies, it includes the following: “patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety, and informatics.” These competencies are core to a better quality of care and patient safety and, in my work, I aim to practice all of them simultaneously. For instance, teamwork and safety are essential components of everyday nursing practice. I realize the first competency through positive and respectful communication with colleagues, and the second one – through the application of research evidence on patient safety, reporting of errors, and analysis of medical mistakes. However, I acknowledge that my skills associated with the QSEN competencies must be developed further to benefit patients more. Therefore, I will continue professional growth through learning about the needs of patients and ways to interact with them more effectively. I will also continue to explore evidence and standards and then incorporate them into my practice. In this way, I will be able to become an agent for change and quality improvement in my workplace.