On Nov. 30, nurse leaders and representatives from 18 organizations in Collier and Lee counties gathered to view a live webcast of a national summit hosted by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Washington, D.C. The summit was a first step in translating into action the recommendations outlined in the report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
The Southwest Florida Regional Awareness Meeting in Naples, Fla., led by the Florida Nurses Association Collier County Chapter and the Southwest Organization of Nurse Executives, was one of 90 meetings taking place across the U.S. to discuss the reports recommendations, which outline a path for improving healthcare and discuss educational, training and practice issues that prevent nurses from serving as full partners in the delivery of quality healthcare.Attendees at the Jan. 13 meeting shared ideas and opinions on how the IOM report would reflect the nursing profession in Florida.
With respect to the IOM recommendation that the proportion of nurses with bachelors degrees be increased to 80% by 2020, the group talked about issues regarding tuition assistance, time constraints and the lack of pay incentives for nurses to return to school or go into teaching.
The FNAs Collier County Chapter also sponsored a meeting in Naples on Jan. 13, to continue the dialogue. Nearly 100 nurses attended the event, including staff nurses, educators, nursing leaders and advanced practice nurses. A panel of nursing professionals responded to questions about IOM recommendations. The panel members included representatives from NCH Healthcare System, Lee Memorial Health System, Edison State College, Nova Southeastern University, Florida Gulf Coast Universit, and the Nurse Practitioner Council of Collier County.
Based on the panels responses, Southwest Florida hospitals and schools of nursing appear to be well positioned to respond to the IOM recommendations. One concern expressed by a nurse practitioner was in regards to the recommendation for expanding the scope of practice for NPs, including prescribe controlled substances. All appeared to be in agreement that we need to work in collaboration with the Florida Medical Association to see how NPs can benefit and enhance physicians practices. Plans are under way to recovene in March.