The impact of the IOM report on nursing education

The impact of the IOM report on nursing education

The report first of all concedes to and highlights the fact that the bar needs to be raised in as far
as education in nursing is concerned in the United States. There are two main reasons why this
need has come up. The first reason is practical whereas the second is more administrative in
nature. The practical reason for higher standards of education for prospective as well as
practising nurses is the increasing need for their services in the healthcare sector. This is because
in the 21 st century, the number of people in need of healthcare is much higher than the previous
century and this is mainly due to changes in demographics and an upsurge in cases of lifestyle
diseases. The second reason is that the entry level for nurses is quite ambiguous given the fact
that there are different acceptable ways of one joining the profession. This can be through a
bachelor’s degree or a diploma (IOM, 2011).

The report recommends upgrading of the nurses’ academic credentials across the board. This is
to be implemented through a continuous process of accreditation whereby at any one time, there
is a population of nurses engaged in further studies in their profession. Bridging programs have
also been encouraged to smoothen transition between undergraduate and graduate programs.

This will sharpen their skills and therefore enable the profession as a whole to cope with
prevailing demands (IOM, 2011).

Residency programs have also been seen to aid in bridging the gap between the classroom and
the field. As a result, they are also to be included in the existing nursing programs so as to stem
the challenge of high rates of employee turnover that are mostly recorded within the first year of
an individual getting placed in the healthcare sector. This will ensure that there is a sufficient
supply of the much needed labour in nursing countrywide.

The intended purpose of these initiatives will be an improvement in the quality of healthcare
provided by nurses.

  1. The impact of the IOM report on nursing practice

From the report, it is clear that an increase in the number of Advanced Practice Registered
Nurses is causing some friction in the healthcare sector with a section of physicians lamenting at
the overlapping of some of their functions. Another obstacle being faced by APRNs is the fact
that state laws in most parts of the country bar them from providing medical care and instead
relegating them to a state of dependence on the directions provided by doctors. At the same time,
the fact that nurses form the largest proportion of healthcare personnel means that they are
strategically placed to provide care directly to patients who need it in a manner that is tailored to
the specific case being handled. This promises to yield more fruits for the nursing fraternity and
thus score goals for the healthcare sector in general (IOM, 2011).

When APRNs embrace and practice primary care to patients, they have a good opportunity to
directly contribute to the decisions that are being made as well as better monitor the patients.

With an expanded set of skills in the conferment of healthcare, nurses who have attained the
status of APRN should extend their practices beyond the auspices of hospitals and actually deal
with the various healthcare needs that are found in society, possibly through a door to door
approach.

The result of inadequate provisions in the existing legislature resulted in mass discouragement of
practitioners who were providing primary care. Though more favourable laws are being enacted,
there is a huge gap in terms of demand for primary care by the aging population and the number
of nurses who are engaged in the same (IOM, 2011).

In the event that I decide to specialize in primary care, I will have to narrow the scope of place of
work to those states whose laws allow and encourage the practice of primary care by nurses.

3.The impact of the IOM report on the nurse’s role as a leader.

It is the norm for physicians to take up leadership when it comes to the treatment plans and also
major decision making regarding the healthcare being given to patients. This is despite the fact
that nurses make up the largest proportion of healthcare worker. This means that they get to have
more face time with the patients. This means that in the redesign of the country’s healthcare
system, it will be imperative for them to be on the frontline providing recommendations and
guidelines. In this regard, they have to take on the role of full partners rather than subordinates to
physicians as this will facilitate their maximum contribution to the reform process.

While the health institutions are urged to provide nurses with a chance to hone their leadership
skills, nurses are also encouraged to rise to the occasion and begin playing a more active decision
making role in their places of work. A combination of work experience and better academic

qualifications is necessary for the nurses to provide effective leadership in their duties (IOM,
2011).

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