The unending demand for quality healthcare services by the population subjects nursing to serious challenges that affect the quality of services offered. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) was mandated to research to expose the challenges facing this profession and propose measures to correct the issues arising from the findings (Stanhope and Lancaster 2011). This essay explores the proposals submitted by the IOM on transforming nursing.
Nurses have always faced serious challenges that interfere with their services in various ways. Previous efforts bore little or no fruits and this led to the inclusion of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative Committee to conduct research and propose various ways to transform nursing (The National Academies Press 2011). This committee proposed reforms in nursing practices, education, and leadership.
Nursing is a distinctive profession that sometimes requires nurses to delve deep into practice issues that may not be reflected in their work policies. This institute proposed that nurses should be allowed to perform their duties to maximize their education and training (Grossman 2012). This proposal amplified the need to address the needs of patients according to their nature and not what is good for the profession.
This highlights the need to reevaluate the roles of nurses to ensure they offer quality services depending on the needs of the patients as is outlined in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. This includes the formation of structures, initiatives, and opportunities that allow nurses to transform nursing to offer a quality, accessible and valuable environment for patients (The National Academies Press 2011). The main issues that need transformations include primary care, wellness and prevention, chronic conditions, transitional and coordination care, prevention of hospital-acquired infections and adverse effects.
In addition, these changes will address the need to increase and develop palliative and long-term care for the old and ensure minority groups access health insurance covers. Therefore, there is the need to reduce obstacles like practicing limits, obsolete insurance policies, the transition from training to practice, disjointed healthcare system, that restrains nurses from delivering their duties (Stanhope and Lancaster 2011). This proposal highlights the need to register additional nurses (APRNs) and ensure they are given active roles in primary care and managing chronic diseases.
The transformation will ensure hospitals are equipped with modern high-technology equipment, national primary care capacities are improved and coordination between chronic and old patients (Sullivan 2012). In addition, it will promote quick access to focused consultation and palliative care, an easy combination of hospital and office practices, and reduced working hours.
The committee highlighted the need to train nurses to ensure they can handle patients from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. In addition, it emphasized the importance of establishing quality education systems that offer the necessary training to nurses to ensure there is a smooth transition from education to practice. There must be changes to improve the quality of training offered before and after nurses receive their practicing licenses (Grossman 2012). The education should enable nurses to understand care management, methods of improving healthcare quality, and their roles in reformed nursing.
The report argues that the education of nurses should be a stage for endless learning and also offer opportunities for a smooth move to higher levels of learning (Stanhope and Lancaster 2011). It is necessary to ensure that licensing, certifying and accrediting organs must mandate evidence of competencies and core skills that complement the completion of various learning programs, examinations, and tests before declaring a trainee fit for practice.
There is also the need for the Nursing Students’ Body to be diverse to ensure there is a proportional representation of men and women in the workforce (Sullivan 2012). In addition, there should be racial and ethnic representations to ensure all communities are represented in this profession. Lastly, physicians and other health-related trainers should play significant roles in training nurses in their training and throughout this profession.
Leadership transformation in nursing refers to the partnership between nurses and other physicians in transforming healthcare. Even though, nurses should be leaders in various health-related issues most of them fail to realize that they have the potential of transforming this profession (Creasia and Freiberg 2010). The IOM report highlights the need to impart leadership skills in young nurses to ensure they transform this sector using the skills, knowledge, and experience gained through learning and practicing. People from another unrelated professions will not help to transform this profession since they do not have experience or knowledge about nursing (The National Academies Press 2011). Therefore, this profession must produce its leaders from various sections to ensure they transform this sector.
Leadership in nursing will be measured in terms of individual contributions to providing high-quality healthcare services while working together with others from similar professions. Even though, patients, nurses, and physicians play different roles they must work seamlessly to solve various challenges that occur every day. This requires leadership that exhibits collaboration, sacrifice, dedication, and mutual respect to solve these challenges (Creasia and Freiberg 2010). This will reduce errors, disruptive behavior, and frequent staff turnover.
Nursing faces various difficulties that limit its effectiveness in delivering quality services. Changes in this practice, education, and leadership will ensure this profession adopts a new face to provide affordable but cheap services to the population. These transformations will ensure nurses work with minimal limitations.
Creasia, J. L. and Freiberg, E. E. (2010). Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice. Missouri: Mosby.
Grossman, S. (2012). The New leadership Challenge: Creating the Future of Nursing. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.
Stanhope, M. and Lancaster, J. (2011). Public Health Nursing: Population-Centered Health Care in the Community. Missouri: Mosby.
Sullivan, E. (2012). Effective Leadership and Management in Nursing. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
The National Academies Press. (2011). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington: The National Academies Press.