Ten years ago leadership in nursing was increasingly concerned about the disturbing trend in the entire nation. In certain states and underprivileged urban centers, students in nursing programs left school, since they did not have sufficient groundwork in science and math to enable them to deal with courses at the college. Most ambitious nursing students could fulfill their dreams. The nation was also suffering. The US was losing its future nurses who were significant in controlling the impending inadequacies at a time when public demand for nursing was approximated to increase due to the aging population and inflow of persons newly insured.
The nation was losing nursing students who would significantly assist in the diversification of the vocation. Young adults were also denied the opportunities for acquiring skills needed to find future jobs in nursing practice. Due to the looming danger posed by the decreased chances of having adequate nurses in the future, nursing leadership in certain states proposed the adoption of middle colleges for students from low-income households.
Middle colleges would prepare their students to succeed in nursing school. A momentous event, which lives to change the nursing vocation, took place in 2010: the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report. The report was based on a study conducted to investigate different ways of transforming the nursing profession. The aim of the study was to organize the US healthcare system to deliver quality standard care. The report was also regarded as one of the major transformations in nursing practice. In this regard, the current paper discusses the impacts of IOM report on nursing primary care, education and on nurses’ roles as leaders.
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Impact of IOM Report on Nursing Education
The Institute of Medicine report substantially affected nursing education in the US. The adoption of its recommendation has resulted in the advancement of the health industry on a daily basis at maximum speed. Consequently, it is extremely significant for nurses to upgrade their level of knowledge in order to adhere to the necessities of the transforming healthcare system. Nurses can upgrade their knowledge through specialization and higher education. Due to improvement in the entire field of medicine, healthcare professions are experiencing new problems and challenges in comparison to the preceding era. The old educational and training curriculum provided to nurses during the previous years, before the report, is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the modern age. Patients’ needs have undergone a paradigm change over several years and have become increasingly sophisticated during the time. The report by the Institute of Medicine recommended nurses to pay more attention to increasing their level of education to overcome the challenges and dynamics of the healthcare industry.
Great numbers of nurses across the United States are advancing their level of an education baccalaureate degree and other certified programs, due to the recommendations of the IOM report. According to the report, the educational system for nursing should be based on both inter-professionals and competencies. Subsequently, the report recommended the transformation of the old educational system to indoctrinate adaptability to work and effective communication as a team. Under the flexible option offered by the IOM report, nursing students are now capable of receiving credit by showing competency in critical areas of nursing skills and knowledge, which they might already have. Therefore the need for duplicate classes is decreased.
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The report by IOM increased the opportunities for both men and women to become nurses. In the US, nursing is not a parallel profession. Basic preparation to practice nursing can be received via several possibilities. The three initial possibilities include Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Registered Nurse (RN) and a diploma in nursing. Graduates from different fields, not similar to nursing, also have an alternative for selecting a second bachelor’s degree in nursing programs, which is generally accepted among the youth. The various possibilities increase the opportunities for both women and men from various diverse backgrounds to become registered nurses.
The report also proposed for the development and assessment of residency nursing programs outside the typical acute care setting. The nursing residency program would play a crucial role in the orientation for new graduates prior to commencing the nursing profession in any public hospital. Due to the effect of the IOM report, certain hospitals established residency nursing programs for new graduates.
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The Impact of the IOM Report on Nursing Practice
The report by IOM proposed the redesigning of health professionals' roles, especially nurses, to achieve the need for affordable and safe service to the public. The ability of nurses to deliver high-quality service to the patient and community is limited by different factors. Firstly, outdated rules, policies and education limit particularly the scope of the nurse. Besides, the outmoded rules and policies, other barriers, including professional and cultural limitations restrict the delivery of standard service.
The IOM report also recommended the renewal of the outmoded policies and the elimination of the barriers in order to enable nurses to enhance their practice to a maximum level. According to Aiken, Cimiotti, Sloane, Smith, Flynn & Neff (2011), it can be attained through collaborative teamwork of the entire healthcare system.
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The Impact of IOM Report on Primary Care
According to the 2010 IOM report, idyllic primary care encompasses five indispensable components, which include patient approachability integrated with the larger medical system, serviced by clinicians, built on sustained partnership and practiced in the context of community and family. According to Finkelman & Kenner (2009), primary care acts as a starting point of access to the healthcare system for all needs of care from the senior to newborns. In addition, primary care also serves as preemptive care to physical and mental issues and acute illnesses. However, the commendations of the 2010 IOM report negatively affected the delivery of such services.
IOM report negatively affected primary care services. Based on present surveys and reports after the IOM report, it is apparent that the demand for primary care increasing steadily due to the number of the aging population. However, the number of nurses delivering primary care services is not sufficient in fulfilling its roles, in assisting patients with chronic diseases and in the prevention of acute diseases. It occurs due to the fact that nurses shift towards specialization in the result of the changes in nursing education and training.
In order to get rid of such setbacks, the 2010 IOM report suggested that Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) should utilize its primary care training programs in order to support curriculum development and training opportunities, which include public health. According to the IOM report, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation could enhance community health by supporting primary care public health pilots.
The Effect of IOM Report on the Leadership Role of the Nurse
Regardless of their important roles, nurses are frequently ignored, when it comes to the leadership position. The 2010 survey by the IOM, comprising of 1000 hospitals, revealed that nurses comprised only 6% of board members. Recent surveys have reported that about 60% of healthcare institutions have incorporated nurses on their boards. Generally, health institutions have failed to recognize nurses as leaders. According to Aiken, Cimiotti, Sloane, Smith, Flynn & Neff (2011), the negative perceptions of nurses as incapable of holding leadership positions are the biggest limitation to leadership by nurses.
The failure to reveal the leadership capability of nurses will restrict the capability of health systems to adapt to the future problems it will face. By attempting to reveal leadership talents among nurses, the IOM report implied that nurses are uniquely positioned to assess the effect of policies and procedures, to generate learning opportunities for quality improvements and to provide innovative solutions to a wide range of problems.
In addition, even beyond the healthcare system, nurses with required training, outreach and resources can use their skills and experiences to benefit other sectors. The IOM report, to be specific Recommendation 7, advised nurse associations to provide leadership opportunities and mentoring programs to nurses. Due to such recommendation, nursing associations, such as the American Nurses Association (ANA), began supporting the nursing profession to assume leadership positions to advance health irrespective of the functional role of nurses.
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The IOM report strongly endorsed strong leadership quality for physicians, nurses, and others in order to adopt the new interventions in terms of quality healthcare, access to healthcare and delivery of patient-oriented care in the healthcare system. A nurse can divulge fully in a concerted work with other healthcare personnel, as well as other leaders and can make significant contributions to the redesigning of the practice. Guidance is needed at all organizational levels of a healthcare institution, and effective leadership also necessitates the proper comprehension of situations.
Due to the IOM report, nurses are witnessing appointments to leadership positions around the nation. Besides the efforts of ANA promoting nurses’ leadership, the American Academy of Nursing has also developed an initiation advocating for the promotion of nurses to a powerful leadership position. The report also provided an opportunity for the minority of nurses to assume leadership positions. Recent studies affirm that a minority of nurses have hinged with the diversity steering committee in order to diversify the nursing profession.
Personal Changes to Meet the Goals of IOM
Regardless of the significant impacts of the report, nurses have to redesign their practice and service in order to meet its goals and objectives. It will require advancing education and experience to match the requirements of the report. Leadership training can assist in achieving the commendation of the report.
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The 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine influenced the nursing profession in several ways. The effects of the report focused on reforming the nursing education sector, nursing practice, primary care and the leadership role of the nurse. In relation to the impact on education, the report recommended nurses to pay more attention to increasing their level of education to overcome the challenges and dynamics of the healthcare industry. In relation to the impact on nursing practice, the report proposed the redesigning of the health professionals' roles, especially nurses, to achieve the need for affordable and safe service to the public. Due to the IOM report, nurses are witnessing appointments to leadership positions around the nation. In order to meet the reports’ requirements, nurses have to redesign their practice and service.