National nurse leader talks about the campaign’s progress, future plans
By Janice Petrella Lynch, MSN, RN
The Institute of Medicine recently released a report on the progress achieved to date on the recommendations set forth by the IOM’s 2010 report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The Campaign for Action, a nursing initiative developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP, has worked with nurses nationwide since 2010 to advance the IOM recommendations.
In the progress report released Dec. 4, the IOM committee gave specific recommendations in the areas of removing barriers to practice and care; transforming education; collaborating and leading; promoting diversity; and improving data. In conclusion, the committee said, “no single profession, working alone, can meet the complex needs of patients and communities. Nurses should continue to develop skills and competencies in leadership and innovation and collaborate with other professionals in healthcare delivery and health system redesign. To continue progress on the implementation of The Future of Nursing recommendations and to effect change in an evolving healthcare landscape, the nursing community, including the campaign, must build and strengthen coalitions with stakeholders both within and outside of nursing.”
After the report was released, Nurse.com spoke with Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior adviser for nursing and Campaign for Action director for the RWJF, about the report, the campaign’s progress since 2010 and its plans for the next five years.
Q: What progress has been made over the last five years in transforming nursing education?
A: Data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing shows us there are many nurses who are returning to school for higher education, and there are many institutions and communities and some states who have or will reach the 80/20 goal.
Because of the efforts of so many, we at the Campaign for Action and our Academic Progression in Nursing program, have set up a solid and sustainable infrastructure for the future, and are seeing community colleges and universities working together and developing seamless transition policies.
What is most important in this process of transforming education is that we have changed the culture. Nurses are telling me that they ‘of course are going back to school,’ and they are happy about the prospect.
As far as doctorally prepared nurses, the RWJF Future of Nursing Scholars program is making an investment by providing scholarships and leadership development for nurses interested in going back to school for their PhDs. We continue to need innovative nursing leaders in healthcare who will engage in research, develop products and provide the solutions needed to better our health and healthcare system. Of course, we also need nurses who have earned their PhD and will serve in faculty positions.
Q: What challenges have there been in removing barriers to scope of practice and care?
A: Our scope of practice work has been challenging. The IOM recognizes, both verbally and in writing, that physicians continue to pose barriers to modernizing scope of practice legislation. The campaign is working to improve our collaborative work with the physicians, consumers and others who understand that nursing practice and care will only be enhanced if all providers are allowed to practice to the top of their education and training. And, in fact, we do have physician champions, who are extremely supportive of our work around modernizing scope of practice laws, but won’t speak out publicly.
I feel so sad when I see the millions of dollars spent in states as stakeholder groups battle one another around scope of practice laws, but I have to believe that in the end what’s best for the consumer will prevail. Our move to a value-based healthcare system with an emphasis on teams will solve many of these issues.
We are grateful to our partner, AARP, an organization that will continue to work on behalf of consumers and help to broaden scope of practice laws.
Q: In what ways have nurses developed their interprofessional collaboration, and how can they continue this work?
A: This new IOM impact report is keeping The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, on the radar for everyone, so that’s a good thing. Now nurses speak in terms of ‘we’ and ‘us,’ rather than ‘they’ and ‘their,’ and we will find new ways of reengaging ourselves and create new opportunities to build a culture of health in our communities through collaboration with others.
The progress report asked state action coalitions to be broader in stakeholder engagement and to include as many interprofessional partners as possible. Although it has been challenging work, we have been and will continue to do that work.
The campaign and the action coalitions will be involved in working with and supporting nurses as they lead the way in building a culture of health in their communities. We want nurses at the table with all other players as we build this culture, and that might include people from transportation, parks, food suppliers, or organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and public health agencies, just to name a few.
Be sure to look for news in the spring about a new RWJF grants program that will focus on interprofessional collaboration.
Q: What advances has the campaign made in fostering nursing leadership, and what are its future goals?
A: We have 21 organizations working jointly to have 10,000 nurses on various organizational boards by 2020. Unfortunately, there currently is only one outside organization, the American Hospital Association, that tracks the number of nurses on boards in this country, so I think most believe getting nurses on hospitals boards is the only thing we are interested in, but that is not true. We are actually pushing for nurses to get onto all kinds of boards, whether it be public health, philanthropic, corporate and governmental boards.
If you visit NursesonBoardsCoalition.org, you can see the progress we have made as we work toward our goal of 10,000 nurses on boards for 2020. We want nurses to come to this website to either be counted or ask how to be on a board.
We will continue to do our work in all areas of the original IOM recommendations, and we will continue to see great progress in all of them.
As we build a culture of health within our communities, we also want to support nurses in their leadership roles, wherever they work, and shift the culture so they see themselves as the true leaders they are. Nurses know how to keep people healthy, and we want them to have a deep appreciation of their own value and importance in all healthcare settings.
Janice Petrella Lynch, MSN, RN, is nurse editor/nurse executive.
Download the pdf of the report in brief, Assessing Progress on the IOM Report: The Future of Nursing.
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