The 2010 IOM Report and the Future of Nursing

Introduction

The 2010 IOM report is the result of a massive collaborative effort performed by the IOM (Institute of Medicine) and the RWJF (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). The two-year initiative, which was launched in 2008, was aimed to assess, analyze, and transform the nursing profession at its core, starting with goals and objectives of the profession, and ending with changing standards of practice in newly-created and existing healthcare facilities (ANA, n.d.). The final report, which consisted of over 650 pages of text, provided a clear assessment of the existing situation, indicating the areas in need of change as well as potential methods and recommendations for doing so.

The final document contained four critical messages, which shaped the development of nursing as a profession in the following 8 years. These messages focused on education and training, seamless academic progression, redesigning practice, and promoting better workforce efficiency through advocacy, data collection, and information infrastructure. The purpose of this essay is to reflect on the effects the 2010 IOM report had on nursing education, practice, and leadership.

The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Education

The key message number two of the IOM Report states that “nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression” (IOM, 2011, p. 163). The scope of the Affordable Care Program, adopted in 2010, expanded the availability of primary and secondary care to more than 23 million people. With the increased workload, the nursing profession required a reassessment of educational programs and core competencies.

According to the 2017 AANN white paper, two main recommendations given as part of the IOM report were the promotion of transition-to-practice residency programs as well as the development of scopes and standards in close cooperation with ANA (AANN, 2017). As a result, AANN recognized the need to implement these programs in order to introduce graduates into their respective fields through competency-based transitions. Another program implemented in order to improve nursing education involves the promotion of bachelor programs as well as the pursuit of doctorates by nurses. As a result, between 2002 and 2012, the number of four-year programs increased by 60% (AANN, 2017). The number of doctorates since 2010 doubled, and enrollment into various Ph.D. programs increased by 15% (AANN, 2017). It can be concluded that the IOM report motivated nurses to increase their professional competencies, and influenced the government to provide adequate funding to medical education programs.

The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Practice

Some of the recommendations in the IOM report addressed the state of existing nursing practice, namely in primary care. According to the IOM report, only 39% of all nurses found employment in primary care facilities (IOM, 2011), which was not enough to address the current needs of the patients, as well as the needs of the estimated influx of new patients covered by the Affordable Healthcare Act (AANN, 2017). The goals of primary care nurses include preventing the development of diseases through early warning programs, prevention, advocacy, and the promotion of self-help practices. According to the 2017 AANA report, the number of nurses in primary care increased to 51% (AANN, 2017). In addition, the IOM report emphasized the role of nurses in facilitating community healthcare through various actions available to them, such as participation in local and community-based programs, distribution of educational material, and working with vulnerable populations. In order to adhere to the goals established and outlined in the report, I, as a nurse practitioner, must involve myself with the community, and work with my hospital as well as various social organizations available in the area, in order to promote healthcare. I will also be expected to support AANA initiatives by getting in touch with my local legislators and political representatives.

The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Leadership

Chapter 4 of the IOM report explicitly covers the state of nursing leadership as of 2010 and outlines that in order for the proposed interventions to be successful, nurses must fully embrace their roles as scientific, political, and community leaders (IOM, 2011). Strong leadership is the cornerstone of any reform, and in order to transform the healthcare system into a better version of itself, IOM and AANA stressed out the requirements for leadership. IOM report focused on programs aimed to make nurses willing and capable of facilitating leadership roles within the hospital hierarchy and be capable of making decisions regarding treatments and nursing processes.

The 2017 AANA report states that there is a correlation between leadership and data processing capabilities of hospitals, which have been increased in the last years with the introduction of electronic health records and other computerized technology (AANN, 2017). Access to important data enabled nurses to assume leadership roles in nursing research as well as community-based healthcare and advocacy. It provided them with data, upon which they could act and launch personal as well as communal initiatives to improve the existing standards of care.

Conclusions

The IOM report served as a framework for future development of the healthcare industry, providing a basis for reform, advocacy, and legislative effort. The Affordable Care Act saw success due to the information provided in the report, which enabled adapting healthcare to suit the needs of the patients. The AANA report of 2017 indicates marked successes in education, primary care, and leadership, which were facilitated in the last 7 years after the report’s publication. It remains one of the founding documents, through which the transformation of our healthcare system is being facilitated.

References

AANN. (2017). 2017 white paper: Full report of AANN progress on the IOM report. Web.

ANA. (n.d.). IOM future of nursing report. Web.

IOM. (2011). The future of nursing. Leading change, advancing health. Web.