Future of Nursing

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The Future of Nursing

March 8, 2013

In 2010, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report which would impact specifically the role of nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of nursing forms the largest part of the healthcare team in the United States (US). In 2010 there were approximately 2.7 million nurses in the US alone, with an estimated growth to the field by 26% by the year 2020 (Department of Labor, 2012-2013). With future changes to healthcare in America over the next few years, it is imperative that nurses be trained to the fullest capacity in order to be of better service to the American population. The IOM report “offer[s] a glimpse into what the future of nursing could be” (Institute of Medicine , 2010). The following will point out the impact of the IOM’s report on nursing education, nursing practice and will also discuss the future role of nurses as leaders in healthcare.

Since the start of the last century, nursing has evolved from a vocational training program to a degree program at community colleges and universities. In recent years there has been much discussion with regards to the differences in training and preparedness of those nurses trained at the diploma or associate degree level, as compared to their nurse counterparts trained at bachelor’s degree level or higher. The report put out by the IOM not only discusses the impact that nurses can have in the future of healthcare but also encourages higher education so as to be better equipped to meet the growing demands and challenges of healthcare that affect the American population. With an increasing number of an aging population, chronic illnesses, increased health disparities and increasing diversity, nurses have an opportunity to be used to their fullest potential, as delineated by their scope of practice. What impact does

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