The Future of Nursing

Leading Change, Advancing Health

The Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, is a thorough examination of the nursing workforce. The recommendations offered in the report focus on the critical intersection between the health needs of diverse, changing patient populations across the lifespan and the actions of the nursing workforce. These recommendations are intended to support efforts to improve the health of the U.S. population through the contributions nurses can make to the delivery of care.

The eight recommendations offered in the report are centered on four main issues:

  1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
  2. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
  3. Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.
  4. Effective workforce planning and policy-making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

The report is designed to serve as a framework for changes in the nursing profession and the health care delivery system. These nurse-led solutions are directed to individual policy-makers, national state and local government leaders, payers, health care researchers, executives and professionals—including nurses and others—as well as to larger groups such as licensing bodies, education institutions, and philanthropic and advocacy organizations, especially those advocating for consumers.

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