The relationship between nurse education level and patient safety
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In a paper of 1,000-1,250 words:
Discuss the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee Initiative on the Future of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine research that led to the IOM report, “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.”
Identify the importance of the IOM “Future of Nursing” report related to nursing practice, nursing education and nursing workforce development.
What is the role of state-based action coalitions and how do they advance goals of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action?
Summarize two initiatives spearheaded by your state’s action coalition. In what ways do these initiatives advance the nursing profession? What barriers to advancement currently exist in your state? How can nursing advocates in your state overcome these barriers?
Implementation of IOM Report in California
Registered Nurses (RN) form the largest segment of healthcare professionals in the United States (Pittman & Forrest, 2015). The nurses work in various settings such as learning institutions, hospitals, health centers and nursing homes, in which they offer a wide variety of healthcare services, such as caring for the health needs of the patients, preventive medicine, educating patients and coordinating care with other healthcare professionals. Moreover, nurses are actively involved in medical research and in various leadership and advocacy roles in healthcare sector (Pittman & Forrest, 2015). Due to the dynamic nature of healthcare sector, it is important for the nursing profession to be adaptable to the prevailing changes. This is of critical importance to enhance the quality of care nurses offer in the various areas of operation. In United States, the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created various changes, which define provision of patient centered care in an affordable manner. Moreover, nurse shortage, application of information technology in healthcare and focus on evidence based care are some of the changes the profession is facing in the 21st century. This paper explores the work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee initiative on the future of nursing and Institute of Medicine (IOM) report in regards to preparing and enhancing nursing profession in the 21st century.
The IOM Report by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee Initiative and the Institute of Medicine Research emphasizes on four main areas in as far as advancing the nursing profession is concerned. The first is that nurses should exercise to their full potential, in proportion to their education and training level (IOM, 2010). Secondly, nurses should focus on continuous improvement of their skills by pursuing higher levels of education and training through enhanced academic system that encourages smooth educational progress. The third area stresses on the importance of nurses being full partners with physicians and other clinicians in the healthcare system across the country to enhance collaborative care (IOM, 2010). The fourth and final area focuses on the need to have the improved data collection and information framework in the healthcare to promote efficiency, particularly in the management of nurse workforce and formulation of policies in nursing profession (IOM, 2010).
The work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation committee initiative and the institute of medicine research were to identify and develop recommendations to advance nursing profession. The IOM Report made eight recommendations to help in transformation of nursing practice in the above named areas, to facilitate the provision of improved and patient centered care in the midst of the dynamic changes in the healthcare system. The first recommendation entails the removal of barriers that limit nurses to fully apply and utilize their knowledge and skills in provision of care in the healthcare system (IOM, 2010). This applies to advanced registered nurses and requires the congress and the legislature to make appropriate amendments, which will ensure that nurses are able to practice to the full threshold of their education and training.
The second recommendation involves expanding opportunities for nurses to enable them work collaboratively with physicians and other healthcare professionals in the system. For this to happen, the IOM report endorses partnership between the public and private financiers, healthcare institutions, nursing education institutions and relevant professional bodies to facilitate expansion of collaborative programs in the healthcare system (IOM, 2010). The collaboration will involve nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals in research and in other areas of enhancing practice environments in health systems, such as research. These partnerships are designed to increase opportunities for nurses to develop and apply successful practice (IOM, 2010). The IOM report suggested implementation of nursing residency programs to support and enhance their transition into the full practice. The other recommendation of IOM report is to increase the number of nurses with baccalaureate degree by 80% and double the number of nurses with doctorate level of education by 2020 to enhance research and quality of care delivered by nurses in the healthcare system (IOM, 2010). Moreover, ensuring that nurses are involved in continuous education to upgrade their skills and acquire competences necessary to enable them provide quality care in diverse backgrounds is another suggestion in the IOM Report. The seventh recommendation of IOM report suggested on empowering nurses to become leaders across all levels, to facilitate proper representation of their interests across different platforms. Finally, the IOM report suggested on the need of building a robust information and data collection infrastructure for professional nurses, to facilitate quick decision making on issues relating to nursing (IOM, 2010).
The IOM “Future of Nursing Report” is important in regard to nursing practice, nursing education, and nurse workforce development. Concerning nursing practice, the IOM Report acknowledges the importance of improving the quality of nursing care delivered to the patient using emerging technologies and evidence based practice (IOM, 2010). As the primary caregivers, the report highlights the importance of equipping the nurses with specialized skills, knowledge and decision making capacities to enable them make sound and independent judgment in their practice. This is intended to enhance quality of service delivered and promote patient safety (Spetz, 2013).
In regards to nursing education, IOM report emphasizes on the importance of more nurses being educated to Baccalaureate degree level and doctorate level (IOM, 2010). Empirical evidence indicates that nurses with BSN degree report improved patient health outcomes. In addition, doctorate level education enhances the nurse capabilities in research, which is important in development of new knowledge in nursing, which ultimately helps in training new nurses on better approaches of patient care (Ridley, 2008). Nurse workforce development is another aspect highlighted in the report. It entails creating opportunities for nurses to enhance their education, increase collaboration with other healthcare professionals and for continuous education. These approaches as highlighted in the IOM report help in enhancing job satisfaction, skills and competence of the nursing staff. Workforce development of nurses is essential to help in mitigating high rates of nurse turnover and nurse shortage nursing profession (Pittman & Forrest, 2015).
All states in the US are mandated to implement the measures highlighted in the IOM report aimed at transforming the future of nursing and improving healthcare in their areas of jurisdiction through state based action coalitions. The Californian States Action Coalition has initiated several initiatives to advance the nursing future of nursing profession. The two main initiatives include increasing the number of nurses with BSN in the state to 80% by 2020 and removing scope of practice barriers (California Action Coaltion, n.d). Within two years efforts to increase the numbers of nurses with BSN has yielded positive results, recording 8.3% improvement, with 61.5% of the nurses in the state having BSN qualification and above (California Action Coaltion, n.d).
BSN qualification enhances the skills and decision making capability of nurses, which results to improved patient outcomes and subsequent improvement of nursing profession (Ridley, 2008). In regards to removal of scope of practice barriers, California Action Coalition is committed at ensuring that nurses are empowered to practice to their maximum level of their education and training (California Action Coaltion, n.d). This initiative enhances nursing profession by enabling nurses to put into practice their various skills, which ensures improved access of care to all patients in the country. This initiative advances nursing profession by ensuring that all people in the state have access to healthcare services. The current barrier to advancement of nursing profession in California is lack of funding for nursing students willing to pursue BSN and higher levels of education. To overcome the funding challenge, nursing training schools should collaborate with private and public partners to provide nursing students with affordable education loans.
California Action Coalition.(n.d). Available from https://campaignforaction.org/state/california/ (Accessed on May 8 2017)
IOM (Institute of medicine).(2010). The future of nursing leading change, advancing health: report recommendations [online)
Pittman, P., & Forrest, E.( 2015). The changing roles of registered nurses in Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations. Nursing Outlook 63(5):554-565.
Ridley, R.T (2008). The relationship between nurse education level and patient safety: an integrative review. J Nurs Educ, 47: 149-156.
Spetz, J. (2013). The research and policy important of nursing sample surveys and minimum data sets. Policy, Politics and Nursing Practice 14(1):33-40