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The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
An ad hoc committee will examine the capacity of the nursing workforce to meet the demands of a reformed health care and public health system. It will develop a set of bold national recommendations, including ones that address the delivery of nursing services in a shortage environment and the capacity of the nursing education system. In its report, the committee will define a clear agenda and blueprint for action including changes in public and institutional policies at the national, state, and local levels. Its recommendations would address a range of system changes, including innovative ways to solve the nursing shortage in the United States.
The committee may examine and produce recommendations related to the following issues, with the goal of identifying vital roles for nurses in designing and implementing a more effective and efficient health care system:
Reconceptualizing the role of nurses within the context of the entire workforce, the shortage, societal issues, and current and future technology;
Expanding nursing faculty, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, and redesigning nursing education to assure that it can produce an adequate number of well-prepared nurses able to meet current and future health care demands;
Examining innovative solutions related to care delivery and health professional education by focusing on nursing and the delivery of nursing services; and
Attracting and retaining well-prepared nurses in multiple care settings, including acute, ambulatory, primary care, long-term care, community, and public health.
regular, close proximity to patients and scientific understanding of care processes across the continuum of care give them a unique ability to act as partners with other health professionals and to lead in the improvement and redesign of the health care system and its many practice environments, including hospitals, schools, homes, retail health clinics, long-term care facilities, battlefields, and community and public health centers. Nurses thus are poised to help bridge the gap between coverage and access, to coordinate increasingly complex care for a wide range of patients, to fulfill their potential as primary care providers to the full extent of their education and training, and to enable the full economic value of their contributions across practice settings to be realized. In addition, a promising field of evidence links nursing care to high quality of care for patients, including protecting their safety. Nurses are crucial in preventing medication errors, reducing rates of infection, and even facilitating patients’ transition from hospital to home.