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AARP leader addresses IOM progress report on future of nursing

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.

Susan Reinhard, RN

Susan Reinhard, RN

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, spoke with Susan C. Reinhard, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior vice president and director, AARP Public Policy Institute, and chief strategist, Center to Champion Nursing in America, about the report, the campaign’s progress since 2010 and its plans for the next five years.

Q: What did you think of the overall message of the progress report?

A: First of all, the timing of the release of the IOM progress report on Dec. 4 couldn’t have been any better for us. The Campaign for Action 2015 Summit was held in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 9-10, and everyone was energized by the overall positive message from the report.

At the summit, the more than 500 participants focused on what a culture of health means for the action coalitions throughout the country, how that movement ties in with the original IOM recommendations and the recent progress report and what they can do to promote a culture of health in their own communities.

The strength of the IOM progress report and the overall positive message comes from the fact that the IOM committee, headed by Stuart H. Altman, PhD, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., performed a thorough review of the evidence through four in-person public hearings, reports from nurse researchers as well as comprehensive feedback from the campaign and the AARP.

Most important of all, the committee acknowledged not only how crucial the nursing profession is, but also that, as the largest healthcare group, the profession has and will continue to lead others in changing and improving healthcare throughout the country.

Q: What are your comments on some of the specific areas the progress report focused on?

A: I am so glad that the committee spotlighted the issue of diversity and acknowledged we are making progress, but certainly, we must increase our efforts.

I also am glad they emphasized the need for more stakeholders to join the work of the action coalitions. Getting other people involved has been a challenge, and the progress report helped to emphasize the need for business groups and others to become more engaged in the campaign.

Our healthcare environment already has changed over the past five years where we see an increased focus on population health, interprofessional collaboration and paying for the value of care, just to name a few examples. As far as expanding the scope of practice, we continue to make progress in this area, and we know that eight more states have modernized their scope of practice laws for nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses.

We want other stakeholders excited about helping to change health and healthcare. In fact, we have organized roundtables with businesses like Target, CVS, Best Buy and more.

Q: What developments have you seen in the areas of interprofessional collaboration and nursing leadership?

A: I have seen significant progress in the areas of interprofessional collaboration and nursing leadership in the last five years, and I know we will continue to make gains.

The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education has taken a leadership role by spurring partnerships and shared responsibility between practice and education, with the overall goals of enhancing the patient and family experience, improving population health and lowering costs. The organization provides information through IPE resources, connects participants to community members, engages them with educational offerings, and advances the IPE work and research at sites throughout the U.S. We will be collaborating more with this center in the coming year.

On Dec. 7, we celebrated our eighth year as the Center to Champion Nursing in America, and our focus has been on leadership and education.

As far as education, we know we need to prepare students so they are able to work outside the hospital setting, focusing more on chronic care, population health and creating a culture of health. These are critical skill sets needed in healthcare, and at the center we are advocating for curricula to support these skills.

At the center, we focus on leadership in terms of nurses joining boards, but we also want to focus on nursing leadership in developing a culture of health in our communities. Through AARP, we have developed the AARP Livability Index and other resources that help nurses create a culture of health in their own communities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has emphasized the need for nurses to be leaders in creating a culture of health where they work and where they live. We know that this work is crucial to the future of healthcare in our country.

Janice Petrella Lynch, MSN, RN, is nurse editor/nurse executive.

To comment, email [email protected]

By | 2015-12-17T21:06:30-05:00 December 16th, 2015|Categories: Nursing News|1 Comment

About the Author:

Sallie Jimenez
Sallie Jimenez is content manager for healthcare for from Relias. She develops and edits content for the blog, which covers industry news and trends in the nursing profession and healthcare. She also develops content for the Digital Editions. She has more than 25 years of healthcare journalism, content marketing and editing experience.

One Comment

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    Nancy Giles L.P.N. January 11, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    I have worked many area’s with a very broad base in nursing. Recently I worked in a hospital where it feels the push for R.N.’s with there BSN. while they have a great amount of education but when they need to work with patients they have no idea how to talk to them. They want to medication’s charting the RN. duties but they are not looking at the complete patient. I started working at the age of fifteen in a nursing home and went into three separate hospitals. I have tried to get them more t ease with talking with patients but there are so many new graduates that feel they are not going to do patient care. C.N.A.’s are few and far between. How do we get new nurses to look and see the entire patient and to do entire patient care?

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