The Vision for the Future of Nursing
My vision on the future of nursing is grounded on the rising demand for nursing staff, as demonstrated by the statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (ANA, 2020). The statistics show that over 500,000 Registered Nurses (RNs) are expected to retire by 2022, which will leave a significant gap in the staff base available to serve Americans, which may compromise their health and wellbeing. Based on the numbers of RNs that will retire by 2022, the increase in the American population, and the rising numbers of the population getting into old age, the demand for nursing staff will increase considerably. Based on the increasing demand for competent nurses to cater to the American population, the vision focuses on the changing roles of nurses, education levels, and the levels of responsibility that come with the rising numbers of patients (Dyess et al., 2016). The critical target areas to change towards realizing the foreseen future are making the nursing role aligned with the changing healthcare needs, healthcare reforms, and the advancements in Americas healthcare systems.
The change to make is making the nurse the number major partner, contact and leader in healthcare services delivery, noting that they spend the most time with patients. The change is crucial, noting that nurses comprise the highest percentage of the healthcare labor force, and thus hold the highest potential to make the most change in the health and wellbeing of Americans. The steps to take towards realizing the change are advocating for recruitment and training of more nurses, as well as retraining and re-educating the current nursing staff to meet the current demand (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Specifically, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should formulate a new policy directing that all nurses should acquire a four-year degree in nursing and take a practical course for a year. The combination of the bachelors degree course and the practical experience will make the nurses admitted into the field of care delivery a good fit for the changing healthcare sector. Secondly, every nurse must complete a specialized information technology diploma towards ensuring they can adequately offer care services in the technology era of the coming years. Secondly, state and the federal government must focus on increasing the numbers of nurses, towards improving the nurse-to-patient ratio, towards improving practice standards.
The Ways the Vision fits with the Recommendations by the IOM Report
The vision for nursing is in line with the recommendations offered by the IOM report, noting that both emphasize the same areas of focus for policymakers and nursing planning (APIN, 2020). For example, the nursing vision emphasizes the importance of making nurses the primary contact between patients and the healthcare sector, which is in line with recommendations 1 and 2, which emphasize the importance of improved education and training. Further, the vision is in line with expanding the role of the nurse, which is crucial during the process of redesigning the nursing sector of the future, noting the changes in demand levels. The focus is in line with recommendation three, which highlights the importance of making nurses full partners with other members of the healthcare team, during the redesigning of the healthcare sector (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Thirdly, the recommendation emphasized the importance of fostering employee planning and capacity development, towards ensuring that the available nurses are a good fit for the healthcare sector. The area of focus is in line with recommendation 4, which emphasizes the importance of workforce planning and the applicable policies, which demands the adoption of more effective data collection and a more robust information model.
The Action Steps I Personally Plan to take towards Promoting the Vision
The two action steps to take towards promoting the vision include writing appeal letters to Congress calling for the formulation and adoption of new policies on the higher demands for existing and newly recruited nursing staff. Through the step, I will increase the awareness of policymakers about the potential labor force gap to expect in two years from now. The second step to take is liaising with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and nursing education system towards bringing to their attention, the weaknesses in the current education and training regime. One weakness is the lack of an Information Technology-oriented course to foster the IT skills of nurses. Through the liaising, it will be possible to make the department aware of ways to improve the potential of current and newly recruited nurses.
American Nursing Association (ANA). (2020). Workforce. Nursingworld. Retrieved from: https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/workforce/
APIN. (2020). Future of Nursing IOM report. Academic Progression in Nursing. Retrieved from: https://www.academicprogression.org/about/future-of-nursing
Dyess, S., Sherman, R., Pratt, B., Chiang-Hanisko, L. (2016). Growing nurse leaders: Their perspectives on nursing leadership and todays practice environment. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(1), 7.
Salmond, S.W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles fornursing. Orthop Nurs., 36(1), 12-25.
My vision for the future of nursing practice is that nurses should be better prepared to face various problems. The patient needs have changed significantly over the years. Patients now have multiple needs due to an increase in chronic diseases (Popeo, Blazek & Lehmann, 2017). For example, a patient may be admitted with multiple chronic conditions and an acute problem. The nurse must develop a strategy to care for the patient effectively. With such changes in the landscape of the care process, nurses need to be better prepared to care for patients. The changes in technology are also asking that nurses be better-trained. Nurses must also be prepared to use various equipment introduced to the nursing practice to assist in the care process.
The recommendations made by the IOM report fit well with my vision for better preparation for the future. The IOM report recommended that nurses be better prepared to solve future patient needs. The IOM report recommended that nurses be better trained and assisted to continue their studies (Popeo, Blazek & Lehmann, 2017). Education is one of the ways that nurses can be trained for future needs. Further, the report advocated for better management of the nursing workforce. The IOM report focuses on the transformation of the nursing practice to ensure that force is prepared to care for patients. My vision seeks to make the nurses more prepared and make their work easier. The introduction of more technology in the practice will help to improve the care process as well as patient safety. The IOM report also recommended that nurses be allowed to care for patients to the full extent of their training. Many nurses in the country do not practice to the full extent as the public and governments fear that they are not well prepared. Therefore increasing the level of preparation of nurses will help to reduce such problems.
There are steps I am taking to promote my vision. One of the steps is to ensure that I am continuing with my studies. There are various changes taking place in the nursing practice. Education will help me understand these changes better (Kovner, Djukic, Jun, Fletcher, Fatehi & Brewer, 2018). Further, through continuing with my education, I will gain more knowledge and skills to help me in caring for patients. Education will also help me to understand the changes in patterns of patient needs. Understanding patient needs is an important aspect of offering care. Education will, therefore, improve my abilities and skills as a nurse.
Another step I am taking in preparing for the future of nursing practice is networking. Networking involves nurses building stronger professional connections with the aim of strengthening working relationships. Many nursing errors arise when nurses and other care professionals do not work together (Kovner, Djukic, Jun, Fletcher, Fatehi & Brewer, 2018). I am planning to create a stronger network in my area of work to ensure that I am able to offer better care. Further, better networks will help to keep me updated on any changes in the care process and practice. Staying updated on changes in care practice is important to ensure I am prepared for these changes.
Kovner, C. T., Djukic, M., Jun, J., Fletcher, J., Fatehi, F. K., & Brewer, C. S. (2018). Diversity and education of the nursing workforce 20062016. Nursing outlook, 66(2), 160-167.
Popeo, D. M., Blazek, M. C., & Lehmann, S. W. (2017). Revisiting the 2012 IOM Report: a Renewed Call for Action. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(3), S21-S22.