It should be noted that the introduction of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in significant alterations in the healthcare sector. It allowed not only providing care to people in need of it but also evaluating the job of a nurse from a different perspective. Nurses are agents that address the various needs of patients, and they face a number of barriers in their work, which do not allow them to provide the best of care. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) proposed a strategy aimed at transforming the work performed by nurses (Institute of Medicine, 2011). It was further supported by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and this joint effort resulted in the creation of the “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” report. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the aspects of this report, the way it advances the nursing profession, and outline the role of the Florida action coalition.
Work That Led to the IOM Report
Importantly, advances in the healthcare sector resulted in the new changing roles for nurses. Since nursing professionals work in various environments, they need to have an opportunity to select between different educational levels. In 2008, a program was initiated to assess the nursing profession and provide recommendations to transform it. The Committee on the RWJF Initiative was held responsible for reviewing the educational background of nurses and the environment in which they function (Hofler & Thomas, 2016). The goal was to outline specific steps needed for advancing the profession so that it would conform to the requirements set by the advances in the sector.
Importance of the Report
The significance of the report for the nursing profession should not be underestimated. The initial purpose was to detect the barriers that hindered nurses from addressing the changing requirements of the healthcare system and the diverse needs of patients. The established committee proposed several fundamental points, which served as a basis for further actions (Hofler & Thomas, 2016). In particular, currently, one of the main goals is to improve leadership and encourage nurses to take on leadership positions more readily. According to the report, this should be done through the empowerment of nurses to function in accordance with the level of their education and training. This also implies that problems hindering nurses from advancing in their education should be eliminated. The challenges that prevent nurses from achieving a higher level of education are regulation, high turnover rates, and various demographic factors such as age. When these challenges are addressed, nurses will have a possibility to advance in their academic path and consider further educational opportunities.
Also, the IOM report is particularly important in terms of its impact on the nursing practice. Alterations in the sector occur uninterruptedly, which implies that healthcare specialists need to progress in their education to be able to fit the evolving system. The competencies that each specialist needs to possess evolve together with the developments in the industry, which directly affects nursing practice (Hofler & Thomas, 2016). Healthcare practitioners need to be equally competent in such areas as public health, leadership, geriatrics, policy development, and so on. Hospital care is gradually becoming more complex and challenging, and nurses should be capable of utilizing life-saving technology to address the health-related needs of their patients better.
Moreover, the country’s population is growing, which means that specialists should be ready to work actively with chronically ill patients while concentrating on preventing disease progression. Also, it is important for nurses to learn how to collaborate effectively with various healthcare professionals who have higher qualifications (Hofler & Thomas, 2016). This is particularly significant in light of the increasing complexity of information systems. In that matter, workforce development becomes a crucial aspect of success since nurses should be able to communicate and collaborate efficiently. To ensure this goal is achievable, it is necessary to create an infrastructure for easier data collection and analysis. The reformed healthcare system will be successful if the workforce meets all the requirements imposed by the report.
State-Based Action Coalitions
State-based action coalitions are the agents that ensure the insights provided in the report are implemented. Coalitions are formed of different healthcare institutions, associations, clients, leaders, and companies functioning at both local and state levels. This joint effort is needed for detecting the best practice, identifying specific activities, outlining research perspectives, and defining models that can be reproduced across healthcare institutions in the state (Presti, 2016). Members of the coalition also have the crucial task of increasing awareness at both levels. In addition, they stimulate specialists to search for innovative solutions in the conditions of the nursing shortage and limited possibilities for advancement in the educational path.
The overall purpose of establishing coalitions was to build communities that would become healthier through effective nursing efforts. Apart from that, through improved nursing and the empowerment of specialists, all citizens will get better access to high-quality care (Presti, 2016). Coalitions support healthcare specialists in their leadership positions and cooperate with various stakeholders. However, more importantly, they also monitor the results uninterruptedly to make sure a greater degree of accountability is achieved.
Florida’s Action Coalition
It should be mentioned that Florida’s Action Coalition works with various stakeholder groups closely to ensure the recommendations provided in the report are implemented successfully. Stakeholders have formed community-based networks to address the current needs at the local level and advance the nursing profession. Interestingly, Florida’s coalition aims at employing nurse-focused inventive solutions. The two initiatives spearheaded by the coalition are workforce data collection and improving access to care (Campaign for Action, n.d.). The first initiative advances the nursing profession so that it provides illustrative data to evaluate the workforce needs in Florida. Based on this information, nurses are trained to provide high-quality, patient-centered care and be effective in a variety of settings (Spetz, Cimiotti, & Brunell, 2016). In terms of the second initiative, Florida’s coalition has made an incremental improvement in allowing healthcare specialists to practice to the full extent of their training. Therefore, through the expanded scope of nursing practice, the coalition intends to achieve improved access to services for the population.
However, several barriers hinder the successful achievement of the set goals. In particular, the coalition has faced reluctance to collaborate from the side of stakeholders. To overcome this challenge, the coalition needs to stress the importance of equal participation in the attainment of the mutual goal (Spetz et al., 2016). Apart from that, inadequate funding of the initiative is another difficulty. To address the issue, the advocates appeal to other organizations and agencies for support and volunteer participation.
Thus, it can be concluded that the report is an important initiative that allows addressing the challenges faced by the healthcare sector through its reformation. Working closely with nursing professionals and providing them with an opportunity to practice to the full extent of their training are central factors of successful implementation of the recommendations specified in the report. State-based action coalitions are important agents that ensure the guidelines are fulfilled at the regional and local levels.
Campaign for Action. (n.d.). Web.
Hofler, L., & Thomas, K. (2016). Transition of new graduate nurses to the workforce: Challenges and solutions in the changing health care environment. North Carolina Medical Journal, 77(2), 133-136.
Institute of Medicine. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Presti, C. R. (2016). The flipped learning approach in nursing education: A literature review. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(5), 252-257.
Spetz, J., Cimiotti, J. P., & Brunell, M. L. (2016). Improving collection and use of interprofessional health workforce data: Progress and peril. Nursing Outlook, 64(4), 377-384.