The IOM Report on the Future of Nursing

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1339 Words
Date:  2022-07-21


One of the major challenges that the nursing profession faces is its capacity to provide an affordable, quality, and seamless care which is evidence-based, patient-centered, and accessible to all so as to improve health outcomes. It was with this in mind that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) constituted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Institute Committee on the Future of Nursing and tasked it with the primary role of developing a vision for a transformed healthcare system. In the end, the Committee came up with the infamous IOM Report, "Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health."

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The primary work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee Initiative on the Future of Nursing and the IOM research was mainly to conduct an independent research and come up with recommendations regarding an on the course that nursing in the US should take in future. The committee was also tasked with the work of assessing and responding to the need for the transformation of the nursing profession in terms of nursing education and the role that nurses should play in ensuring an affordable, accessible, evidence-based, diverse, and quality health care system with a view to improving care outcomes.

Furthermore, the work of the committee was to examine the role of nurses in the realization of a transformed health care system (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2010). The committee was also tasked with the role of examining the nursing workforce's capacity to meet the healthcare system's demands, needs, and issues, such as the nursing education system's capacity to produce well-trained nurses. In its final report, the committee was also to recommend ways through which the US can reconceptualize the role of nurses, examine innovative solutions to health professional education and care delivery challenges, redesign the nursing education, and attract and retain nurses for their future roles through life-long learning.

In the report that resulted from the work of the committee, various key messages for the transformation of the healthcare system are evident. One key message of the IOM report is that there is a need for nurses to be given the opportunity to practice to the full extent of the training and education that they have received. The committee recommends that all those barriers that restrict the entry of new and fresh minds in the healthcare market should be removed to ensure high turnover rates for new nurses.

Another thematic message of the IOM report through an education system that enhances academic progression in a seamless manner, there is a need to ensure that there is an achievement of higher training and education levels by nurses. According to the report, the only way of ensuring patient-centered and safe care across settings is to improve the nursing education system as this will help equip nurses with the competencies required to deliver high-quality care.

The other message of the report is that redesigning health care in the US requires that nurses be considered as full and equal partners just like any other health care professional such as physicians. This way, nursing leadership will improve and future leaders will be prepared for the task ahead. Also, key in the report is the message an improved information infrastructure and data collection are necessary for effective policymaking and workforce planning in the health care system for better care outcomes.

The significance of the IOM "Future of Nursing" report in relation to nursing workforce development, nursing education, and nursing practice cannot be gainsaid. To begin with, the report underscores the importance of effective nursing education on improving healthcare outcomes. In the Future of Nursing Report, the need for necessary changes in nurses' education, responsibilities, and roles in meeting the increasing demands for diverse care has been explored. According to Santos (2012), education plays a critical role in the transformation of the healthcare system is that it helps to equip nurses with the requisite competencies needed for delivering quality care. Regarding nursing practice, the IOM report is important because it advocates for the equal treatment of nurses with other health care professionals and recognizes the fact that nurses play an important role in promoting health care reforms.

The IOM report is particularly important for the nursing practice in that it promotes effective leadership in the nursing profession. The report advocates for more leadership positions for nurses and requires that nurses be given more roles in the healthcare system so as to improve their capacity to be future leaders. Effective leadership is necessary for improved nursing practice. In terms of nursing workforce development, the IOM report is important because according to the report, nursing education and training are necessary for addressing the shortage of nurses in the US besides equipping nurses with the requisite skills. It also advocates for life-long learning among nurses and emphasizes on continuous education and training of nurses all of which are necessary if effective nursing workforce development is to be achieved.

The main role of state-based action coalitions is to drive change locally by working collaboratively in the collective transformation of healthcare via nursing. These coalitions work towards transforming nursing and healthcare and building healthier communities at the state, regional, and local levels. Furthermore, the state-based action coalitions advance the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action by constantly assessing the progress of the IOM report's implementation by the local and state nursing institutions. In the state of Texas, the two initiatives spearheaded by the state's action coalition include transforming nursing education and taking on leadership positions on the New Insurance Exchanges.

The Texas Team, as the state's action coalition is known, is now getting representations in the new health exchange created by the Affordable Care Act. This action is meant to ensure that nurses leaders have the opportunity to play a role in improving the state's health care system (Campaign for Action, 2013). This initiative advances the nursing profession in that it enables nurses to play a more forward role in redesigning the health care system in the US by advocating for affordable and accessible care for all. The initiative of nursing education transformation in Texas entails an initiative by the state to improve the education of nurses to ensure that they are well equipped to tackle the challenges of the health care system presented by the more complex and aging patient population in Texas (Campaign for Action, 2014). This initiative advances the nursing profession by ensuring that nurses have the requisite competencies to take on advanced practice nursing roles as nurse anesthetics, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners.

However, there are still barriers to the advancement of nursing practice that still exists in Texas, such as the high costs of nursing education, restrictive state regulatory policies and framework, and limits on the scope of practice for nurses. Nursing advocates in the state of Texas overcome these barriers by lobbying and advocating for state legislatures to repeal or amend restrictive laws and other state-level factors that act as obstacles to nursing practice advancement.


In summary, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Institute Committee on the Future of Nursing played an important role in identifying some of the issues facing the US healthcare system particularly the barriers to nursing education, practice, and workforce development. In its IOM report, the committee made important recommendations which if fully implemented will help improve nursing education, give nurses the opportunity to assume leadership positions and take on more roles, and ensure that nurses can practice fully depending on their level of training.


Campaign for Action. (2014, July 16). Transforming nursing education. Retrieved from

Campaign for Action. (2013, October 19). Nurses take leadership roles on new insurance exchanges. Retrieved from new-insurance-exchanges/

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington D.C.: IOM. Retrieved from Retrieved from Health/Report-Brief-Education.aspx

Santos, M.L.S.C. (2012). The role of nursing education in the transformation of the U.S. health system. Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing, 11 (2). Retrieved from

Cite this page

The IOM Report on the Future of Nursing. (2022, Jul 21). Retrieved from

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