Professional Development of Nurses

Impact of the IMO report on nursing education

One of the most notable recommendations from this report is the need for a re-conceptualization of nursing education in order to meet present and future needs in healthcare. The report notes that obesity, an aging population and other developments have led to increases in chronic conditions, yet nursing education still focuses on acute care. There is a need to fill this gap through an improvement of the education system. Nurses need to learn more about coordination of care such that when a patient’s access to healthcare is restricted by their care programs, a nurse should be able to navigate these complex systems. The education system should also encompass care provision in community settings (IOM, 2011). If course contents are altered in order to include all these new aspects, then chances are that nurses will be highly adaptable and flexible. Their education will become relevant to their practice and this will change their ability to deal with challenges as they arise in care. It will equip them with the right technical, technological and policy-oriented tools needed to deliver.

The IOM Committee also recommends that the number of baccalaureate degrees in the profession should be increased. Although there are several options for entry into the nursing profession, the baccalaureate degree is the most dynamic one. It allows nurses to know more about quality improvement, health policies as well as community healthcare. Furthermore, the report also calls for a higher number of doctorate and masters degrees in nursing as this would facilitate research, better primary care and faculty management (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011). If this recommendation is taken seriously, then nursing education will become a lifelong endeavor. If the number of doctorate and masters’ degree holders increases, then it is likely that these nurses will set the foundation for future nursing practice through their current findings. A better educated workforce always strives to improve itself through research.

Impact of the IOM report on nursing practice

The 2010 IOM report recommends increases in the number of nurse and physician partnerships. This is especially in relation to current and future changes in the country’s healthcare system. The report will affect nursing practice by placing nurses on a level playing field in medicine. It is only when nurses are treated as equal health professionals that tangible results may be obtained (Future of Nursing, 2012). If these recommendations are adopted, then chances are that the nurse’s role in collaborative work will be redefined. I would change my practice by working more closely with physicians in order to meet this goal. I would also suggest new and innovative healthcare models at my work setting.

The report also recommends data monitoring of nurses’ work in order to capture its complex nature (IOM, 2011). Better tracking would pave the way for improved planning hence delivery of healthcare. In my area of practice, I would contribute towards achievement of this goal by collaborating with information collectors. Nurses must think of the data collection process as part of their nursing practice rather than a hindrance to their practice. This will change the way they treat patients as well as their overall approach to execution of their duties. Furthermore, since the report recommends a greater contribution of nurses in decision making, then the database will assist in involvement of nurses in decisions. In order to meet this objective, I would familiarize myself with the latest technology and IT tools in order to facilitate information collection.

The report also recommends that nurses should focus on patients during care delivery. This means offering their patients better quality in the current healthcare system as well as in future systems. During practice, I intend on achieving this goal through better flexibility in various settings. I would also focus on the safety of patients as well as management of illness, especially in acute care.

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

The IOM report recognizes the importance of leadership in the nursing profession. It recommends greater entrepreneurial initiatives in healthcare. If nurses, take up this challenge, then they will provide solutions towards the problems of healthcare in this country. In the report, nurse leaders should also emerge in healthcare technology. If nurses respond to this call, then patients will benefit from greater use of medical devices in treatment. The IMO Committee also recommends nursing leadership in healthcare policy management (IOM, 2011). If members of the profession work towards this goal, nurses will contribute towards better evaluation of payment models. They will also work on care models and strive for perfection in the field. This recommendation may also improve the role of nurses in interdisciplinary committees. Most of them will widen the scope of their practice so as to engage in greater decision making. Nursing leaders are also likely to participate in the alteration of clinical processes since they understand patients very well (Hassmiler, 2012). They will apply this first-hand knowledge to boost competencies and interdisciplinary decisions.

Lastly, this report advocates for a reexamination of the role of nurses in traditional organizational positions and boards. If nurses take up this challenge, then the IOM report will have contributed towards better leadership participation by these professionals. It will cause hospital or organizational policies to become richer and more patient-centered.


Institute of Medicine (IOM) (2011). Leading change, advancing health. Washington DC: Academic Press.

Future of Nursing (2012). Expand opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative improvement efforts. Web.

Hassmiler, C. (2012). Nurse Leaders in the boardroom: A fitting choice. Healthcare Management Journal 57(1), 33

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2011). IOM’s future of Nursing Report: Big Splash, lasting Impact. Web.

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