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Monday, November 30, 2009

Testifying Before The RWJF/IOM Forum on the Future of Nursing

Thank-you to Phyllis Gallagher RN, BA, MA, JD, supporter of the National Nurse Initiative, for her willingness to testify before the RWJF/IOM Commission on the Future of Nursing during their Acute Care Forum that took place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on October 19th. The Initiative on the Future of Nursing is a two-year effort of the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to find solutions to the continuing challenges facing the nursing profession, and to build upon nursing-based solutions to improve quality and transform the way Americans receive healthcare.

Ms. Gallagher reported there were many good ideas shared through the day on how nursing must change. Establishing an Office of the National Nurse would support many of the proposals presented by those who spoke. The main themes expressed were increasing nursing visibility, finding ways to empower the nursing profession, enhancing technology, and having courage when incorporating transformational change.

According to the website,

"The Institute of Medicine (IOM) in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will establish a major initiative on the Future of Nursing. The initial cornerstone of the program would be conduct of a major study whose goal would be to produce a transformational report on the future of nursing.

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 U.S."

Ms. Gallagher presented specific recommendations as to how the Office of the National Nurse initiative interfaces with the goal of identifying vital roles for nurses in designing and implementing a more effective and efficient health care system as delineated by the committee:

• 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.

Please email if you are interested in receiving an emailed copy of Ms. Gallagher's testimony. You may visit this link to watch the archived webcast of the forum.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, November 30, 2009  

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