It is argued that the future of nursing is bright. This field of medicine is ready for an overhaul due to advancements in technology and the support of stakeholders. One foundation that has pushed for the overhaul of nursing is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Foundation has worked with several other interested parties to ensure that nurses have well-defined job descriptions. In addition, the RWJF has ensured that nurses get the respect they deserve. This paper looks at the work that RWJF did by referring to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report termed, “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The IOM report was developed after holding three forums in a two-year program since 2008, where the RWJF joined hands with the Institute of Medicine.
Role of RWJF in the IOM Report
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation mainly focuses on health issues that affect the USA adversely (Cherry & Jacob, 2013). The foundation has a very diverse network, which it uses in the identification of health solutions in a timely manner. The core objective of the Foundation is to help Americans live a better and healthier life.
It suffices to mention that the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee led to the IOM report termed, “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” Shalala Donna, the chair of the committee, claimed that the IOM report focused wholly on the future of the healthcare sector in the country. Moreover, she stated that the report points out the critical role nurses play in determining the future of the health care system, as they ensure safe and high-quality care for all patients (Institute of Medicine, 2010).
The RWJF helped in the drafting of the report and the whole study, in general, by providing four statements that shaped the report. The first statement is that nurses have to practice what they studied. Additionally, nurses have to achieve the highest possible level of education. The third statement presented by RWJF was that nurses should be perceived as equal partners with the other health care providers in the health facilities. Lastly, nursing should be made easier using effective planning in the workplace.
It is through the help of the RWJF that the Institute of Medicine was able to come up with the research objectives, which shaped the whole research process. Moreover, RWJF supported other aspects of the research. Currently, the Foundation supports the Campaign for Action Initiative, which aims to implement viable solutions to problems that nurses face on a daily basis.
IOM Report and the Nursing Practice
The IOM report discloses the various ways nurses can shape the future of health care in the USA. The report claims that nurses will have a critical role in the quality of health care provided all over the country in the near future. Apart from this, the report discusses other aspects related to nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing workforce development.
One of the key statements drafted by RWJF is that nurses have to achieve the highest possible level of education (Pittman et al., 2013). The statement hints at an overhaul of the education process. Nurses will now have not only to attain the highest level of education in the field, but also have to use the concepts that they have studied in treating patients. Currently, there are some concepts and some nursing theories that are taught in medical school, but they are not used in the hospital (Cohen, 2013). However, the learning curriculum will have to change following the implementation of the IOM report. In the same breath, the report affects nursing workforce development because it requires that all nurses be perceived as equals with other health care givers. Nurses are typically seen to have a lower rank in the hospital. However, the IOM report states that nurses should be given more respect due to their critical role in the future of health care.
In the same vein, the report states that planning policies should be implemented to help make the nursing job easier. The policies introduced can affect the nursing practice as they may determine the conduct and responsibility that nurses are given in the health facilities.
Role of State-based Action Coalitions
The state that will be analyzed in this section of the paper is Florida. The Florida Action Coalition implements the IOM recommendations and seeks to transform health care in the state. The coalition has attracted various stakeholders, including nurses, in an attempt to come up with viable solutions for the unique challenges that the health care system in Florida faces, as well as revolutionizing the health sector.
One initiative that can be cited is the Florida Blue Foundation Awards 2014 Mini-Grants. Three universities and one foundation were given mini-grants due to their support for the Florida Action Coalition. The funds were meant to support the “Nursing Education Navigator – A Project of the Suncoast Nursing Action Team” that is run by the Community Foundation of Sarasota, among other projects (Campaign for Action, 2015).
Another initiative of the Florida Blue Foundation is the “Promoting Nurse Leadership to Influence Nursing and Health Policy” initiative (Campaign for Action, 2015). The action, as the name suggests, tries to encourage nurses to take leadership positions in the health facilities in an attempt to make their work easier. Nurses will now command more respect and get exposed to other aspects of nursing. For example, nurses will get a feel of administrative duties. Through the initiative, several facilities are encouraged to draft nurse leadership positions, such as the nurse manager’s position.
The mentioned initiatives have helped advance the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action by implementing some policies that can be used on a day-to-day basis. It is important to mention that there are several barriers that have made the revolution of nursing in the state challenging. One major challenge is the hesitation of private health facilities to empower their nurses. The state can overcome this problem by placing mandatory rules that force such facilities to empower the nurses.
In conclusion, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has an enormous impact on nursing. Not only has it supported policies that affect nursing positively, but it has also helped in the implementation of policies that can be used on a day-to-day basis. In the same manner, the RWJF has dedicated time and other resources to the Coalition Actions in several states. In Florida, the Coalition Actions have seen to it that nurses get equal respect like other health practitioners in the facilities. The Florida Coalition Action has also initiated several projects that target different parts of the community. These initiatives serve to improve the health care system in the state. It is crucial to point out that the Coalition Action has faced several challenges. One such challenge is the hesitation of the private health care facilities to adopt these recommendations.
Campaign for Action. (2015). State action coalitions: Florida. Web.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2013). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, and management (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier
Cohen, S. S. (2013). The Future of Nursing Report three years later: An interview with Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, Senior Advisor for Nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 14(2), 79-85
Institute of Medicine (2010). The future of nursing: leading change, advancing health. Web.
Pittman, P., Herrera, C. S., Horton, K., Thompson, P. A., Ware, J. M., & Terry, M. (2013). Healthcare employers’ policies on nurse education. Journal of Healthcare Management, 58(6), 399-410.