Meet the Charting Nursing’s Future Policy Brief Series

Apr 22, 2013, 9:00 AM

What policies optimize nurses' role in solving the shortage of primary care practitioners? What approaches will promote and incentivize interprofessional education and practice in health care so as to improve the quality and safety of care? What promising state and federal initiatives are likely to achieve the Institute of Medicine's recommendation to increase the proportion of nurses who hold a baccalaureate or higher degree to 80 percent by the year 2020?

These and other crucial issues confronting nursing and the health care system are the focus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Charting Nursing’s Future policy briefs. Launched in 2005, the series now includes 20 briefs covering a range of topics, including:

Recent briefs focus on recommendations from the landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. That focus continues with the 20th brief in the series. “Improving Patient Access to High-Quality Care: How to Fully Utilize the Skills, Knowledge, and Experience of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses” (APRNs) briefly traces the history of an early model of advanced practice nursing and underscores the vital role these clinicians can and must play in the nation’s health care system. The brief goes on to highlight the persistent legal, institutional, and cultural barriers standing in the way of APRNs practicing to the full extent of their education and training, and identifies a number of institutions around the country that offer successful models for overcoming these barriers.

The next two briefs in the series will also examine topics drawn from Institute of Medicine reports. They will cover:

  • Nurses’ academic progression. The brief will gauge progress toward achieving the IOM’s recommendation of an 80-percent baccalaureate and higher-prepared nursing workforce and examine how federal and state governments, educational institutions and employers are creating incentives and opportunities for working nurses to earn higher degrees.
  • Improving patient safety through transformation of nurses’ work environments. As we near the 10th anniversary of the release of “Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses,” the brief revisits the IOM’s recommendations and highlights progress that has been made in transforming nurses’ work environments to reduce patient safety threats.

Visit an archive of the complete set of Charting Nursing’s Future briefs, free and donwloadable.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.