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?The future of nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM) is an interdisciplinary advisory body to the nation on issues impacting health. Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policy makers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the IOM launched a two-year initiative to respond to the need to assess and transform the nursing profession.

The IOM appointed the Committee on the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the IOM, with the purpose of producing a report that would make recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing. • The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, released by the IOM in October 2010, is the latest in a series of reports that have had a profound impact on stimulating positive change in nursing and health care.With permission from the National Academy of Sciences, Courtesy of National Academies Press, we are pleased to reprint three articles that were written in support of the Future of Nursing report. These articles are published with the report, as appendixes. Information about the IOM and the Future of Nursing report is online at www.

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— JOYCE J. FITZPATRICK, EDITOR Why is a higher level of education necessary in nursing? The IOM offers the following reasons: Competencies needed to practice nursing have expanded greatly.Nurses now need knowledge of public health, geriatrics, leadership skills, health policy, system improvements, research, and evidence-based practice.

As hospital care has become more complex, nurses must make critical decisions associated with care for sicker, frailer patients and work with sophisticated, life-saving technology. Nurses will be increasingly called upon to act as primary care providers. As the population ages, they’ll be asked to help patients manage chronic illnesses, in order to prevent acute care episodes and disease progression.Nurses must now use complex information management systems that require skills in analysis to improve the quality and effectiveness of care. The focus on multi-disciplinary care teams means nurses must collaborate with a variety of health professionals, including physicians, social workers, physical therapists, and pharmacists — most of whom hold master’s or doctoral degrees. Specific recommendations for transforming nursing education: Increase the percentage of nurses that hold BSN degrees to 80 percent by the year 2020.Encourage nurses with associate’s and diploma degrees to enter baccalaureate nursing programs by offering tuition reimbursement, creating a culture that fosters continuing education, and providing a salary differential and promotion. Expand loans and grants for nursing students at all levels.

Double the number of nurses with a masters or doctorate degree by 2020. (To alleviate shortages of nurse faculty, primary care providers, and researchers, a population of qualified nurses needs to be ready to advance to these levels.) Ensure that nurses engage in lifelong learning, and create a culture that fosters this. Develop and prioritize nursing competencies so nursing school curricula can be updated regularly. This will ensure that nursing school graduates at all levels are prepared to meet the current and future health needs of the population.

– See more at: http://www. nursetogether. com/the-iom-advocates-for-higher-levels-of-nursing-education#sthash. OqOT9eEl. dpuf

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