In 2010 the Affordable Care ACT was signed into law. With these laws, the United States is being provided an opportunity to completely redesign its health care system. The model includes heath care that is easier to access, affordable by all, higher safety standards, and higher quality with improved patient outcomes (Robert Wood Johnson, Institute of Medicine, 2010). The United States’ health care workforce is largely comprised of nursing professionals. Their role can be pivotal with the reorganization, but are faced with a number of barriers. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the IOM responded to the need for the assessment and transformation of the nursing profession by producing a report which provides recommendations for the future of nursing.
Within this report, four key messages were created, the first three being our focus today: * Nurses should use their education and training to its fullest extent * Nurses should expand their education levels and training via seamless, progressive educational models * Nurses should play a leadership role with other health care professionals to reorganize health care * Improved medical health records data and containment systems for more efficient planning and policy creation (Robert Wood Johnson, Institute of Medicine, 2010).
Obtaining an RN degree should be only the beginning of the lifelong learning process for nursing professionals. Obtaining a higher degree level (BSN or above) should be a smooth process which is encouraged and rewarded. The report recommends licensing, certifying and accrediting bureaus create mandatory competencies and evidence of skills mastery as a complement to the degree program and board exams (Robert Wood Johnson, Institute of Medicine, 2010). This will ensure effective critical thinking processes and increase patient safety. Creating a more diverse nursing population will open otherwise previous barriers to this vastly expanding field, while allowing the patient population to widen their views of what nursing really entales. After all, the nursing population should be as diverse as the patient population. Finally, educating nursing students alongside other health professionals, including physicians, throughout their nursing careers will encourage them to become future leaders working collaboratively together. (Cresaia & Friberg, 2010)
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 will challenge health professionals to create a more patient centered system. Opening new opportunities for expanding the nursing role and scope will help to bridge the gap in care for chronic conditions, preventative medicine, palliative care, and coordination and transition of care (Robert Wood Johnson, Institute of Medicine, 2010). By delivering care to the community and focusing on wellness, prevention and education, healthcare will again be reinvented and adapt to the growing needs of the communities. Creating new careers and scopes of practice for advanced degree nurses will enable patients to have easier access to health care, and more affordable care. Advanced degree nurses are known to provide longer consultations, and provide more education-based, preventative medicine, and increase recall (Laurant, Reeves, Hermens, Braspenning, & Grol, 2009).
With the nursing profession continuing to change, more nursing leadership roles are evolving. Though the community is not accustomed to visualizing a nurse in leadership capacity, all nurses must become leaders in order to transform the current working model into the patient centered model. More leadership skills and positions will be necessary to design, implement, evaluate and advocate for the future of health care needs. Working alongside physicians and other health professionals require these leadership skills to achieve a targeted outcome. This also transcends to the care environment by ensuring evidence-based improvements are implemented.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 will provide an opportunity for the health care system in the United States to be completely redesigned. With nursing being the largest health care profession, nurses can assist with obtaining the objectives in the IOM report which suggests recommendations for the future of nursing (Robert Wood Johnson, Institute of Medicine, 2010). Allowing nurse to use their education and competencies to their fullest, more higher degree level nurses will emerge. By expanding their education and training, more leaders in nursing will be created and new opportunities will arise. Community oriented, wellness and disease prevention will be crucial to the growing community needs. By placing Nurse Practitioners in these areas of expertise, cost will be lowered and patient satisfaction, as well as outcome will rise. Furthermore, working as a partnership with physicians and other health care professionals will create a more collaborative working environment and provide better patient outcomes as well.
Cresaia, J., & Friberg, E. (2010). Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Laurant, M., Reeves, D., Hermens, R., Braspenning, J., & Grol, R. (2009). Substitution of doctors by nurses in primary care. The Cochrane Library. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001271.pub2/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+4+Feb+from+10-12+GMT+for+monthly+maintenance Robert Wood Johnson, Institute of Medicine. (2010, October 5, 2010). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (Institute of Medicine). : Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing.