“The Future of Nursing” by Institute of Medicine

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Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health was issued in 2010 to encourage the transformation of the nursing profession in education, practice, and leadership. The four key messages outlined in the report are the committee’s main recommendations designed to ensure the proper transformation of the health care system. In general, the report highlights nurses’ growing role and expanding duties in the near future, thus increasing the need for related changes. Successful transformation of the health care system is not possible without ongoing advancements in nursing skills and knowledge.

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Summarize the four messages outlined in the IOM report and explain why these are significant to nursing practice

Nurses form a health care team that plays a central role in health care delivery. Thus, to improve the latter’s service, they “should practice to the full extent of their education and training” (IOM, 2010). The report reveals historical barriers, regulations, and policy as the main obstacles for the nursing profession’s continuous development and reaching maximum individual potential. For that reason, states should regularly update scope-of-practice regulations to keep pace with the profession’s development optimizing collaboration and supervision. Moreover, the report encourages higher dissemination of nursing roles in different health care settings such as care coordinators or primary care providers. It also asks to address inefficiencies in hospital designs/technology infrastructure to ensure nurses’ efficient employment.

The second message makes clear the importance of seamless academic progression for nurses (life-long learning). The latter should achieve the highest level of education possible with the help of an improved education system. Such challenges as a faculty shortage or lack of incentives to pursue advanced education do not secure a well-educated nurse workforce (IOM, 2010). This recommendation is significant because it encourages teaching nurses to cooperate with physicians and other staff.

The third recommendation wants nurses to become full partners of other medical staff in redesigning healthcare in the US. Nurses’ reconceptualized roles should ensure their greater leadership in shaping health policies, planning improvements, influencing the decision-making process, and identifying current inefficiencies. The ultimate message encourages the continuous altering of information infrastructure and data collection for effective policymaking and workforce planning (IOM, 2010). Reliable and granular data is required for better health care management to balance various healthcare professionals’ skills and contributions. In general, the IOM report and recommendations are significant because it aims to increase nurses’ role in improving regulations, policies, education, and cooperation with others within the health care settings. It leads to more optimal, patient-oriented, and safe care provided by nurses than ever before.

Discuss the direct influence the IOM report has on nursing education and nursing leadership. Describe the benefits and opportunities for BSN-prepared nurses

The IOM insisted on advanced nursing education, including research, leadership skills, and evidence-based practice to balance nurses’ skills and knowledge with their growing role. More than ten years have passed since this landmark report; thus, its influence can be estimated. According to Thew (2019), the number of BSN-prepared nurses has significantly increased and will likely reach the recommended 80% of nurses by 2029. Some states are closer to the goal than others; for instance, Hawaii is at 72% (Thew, 2019). The number of active RNs with doctoral degrees doubled since 2010, following the plan. In terms of leadership, more nurses started to serve on health-related and corporate boards, commissions, and panels with the Nurses on Board Coalition’s help. BSN-prepared nurses enjoy such opportunities as improving the skills and knowledge that lead to broader nursing practice and a higher overall care level.

Explain why it is important that a nurse’s role and education evolve to meet the needs of an aging and increasingly diverse population

The percentage of people aged 65 and older continues to increase due to the aging of baby boomers bringing opportunities and challenges for the health care system. Moreover, today people enjoy higher life expectancy than ever before. Also, the aging population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse. This population demands more well-educated nurses than ever before to address their specific health care needs. The demand for nurses is expected to increase by 16% from 2014 to 2024 (BLS, 2019). Therefore, health care settings need more well-trained and educated nurses to assist aging adults in coping with chronic illnesses and diseases.

Discuss the significance of professional development, or lifelong learning, and its relevance in caring for diverse populations across the life span and within the health-illness continuum

The nursing profession is very dynamic, requires quick decisions and best possible practices. Health care practitioners must be motivated by the essential culture of lifelong learning to address the evolving challenges related to aging (IOM, 2010). Health care delivery continues its advancement in terms of the technology involved; thus, clinicians should update and enrich the knowledge they received with an initial degree. Only continuous intellectual expansion and growth can ensure a high level of nurses’ expertise needed for the entire career. It will help the US healthcare system address health issues of diverse populations within the health-illness continuum.

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Discuss how nurses can assist in effectively managing patient care within an evolving health care system

With the advancement of health care systems, the role of nurses in patients’ care becomes indispensable. Without a doubt, the primary duty associated with nursing is the best possible care for a patient. However, nurses are also expected to improve patient management by supporting initiatives that increase quality and reduce care costs. Nurse-led innovations, their engagement in transformative research, new technology use, and expansion of practice scope lead to an improved healthcare system. An excellent nursing structure is key to advanced health care delivery to all generations. The former is not possible without nurses’ lifelong education and practicing to the full scope.


Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leadership change, advancing health. Web.

Thew, J. (2019). The future of nursing report: Where are we now? HealthLeaders. Web.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (2019). Occupational outlook handbook: Registered nurses. Web.

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"“The Future of Nursing” by Institute of Medicine." NursingBird, 24 July 2022, nursingbird.com/the-future-of-nursing-by-institute-of-medicine/.


NursingBird. (2022) '“The Future of Nursing” by Institute of Medicine'. 24 July.


NursingBird. 2022. "“The Future of Nursing” by Institute of Medicine." July 24, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/the-future-of-nursing-by-institute-of-medicine/.

1. NursingBird. "“The Future of Nursing” by Institute of Medicine." July 24, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/the-future-of-nursing-by-institute-of-medicine/.


NursingBird. "“The Future of Nursing” by Institute of Medicine." July 24, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/the-future-of-nursing-by-institute-of-medicine/.