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IOM: Nurses Need More Education, Training

Jeff Elliott for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2010

"We must make certain there is a transition from program to program that is affordable and accessible for the nursing population to improve their skill and education level in a way that will provide opportunities to improve outcomes and safety for patients," said Shalala, who is president of the University of Miami, during the webcast. "We will expect 80 percent of the nurses in this country to have bachelor's degrees within a decade."

Specific recommendations from the report included:

  • Nurses should be able to practice to the true extent of their education and training, which will require that "scope of practice" barriers imposed by states, federal agencies and healthcare organizations be removed, particularly given the millions of new patients expected to enter the healthcare system as part of the reform act.
  • Nurses require seamless academic progression to facilitate their ability to achieve higher levels education and training via the creation of a residency program to help nurses transition from education to practice, as well as ongoing learning opportunities.
  • Nurses should be full partners with physicians and other healthcare professions in redesigning the healthcare system in the United States by contributing on management teams, boards and other groups that shape the healthcare delivery system.
  • The healthcare system requires improvements in workforce planning, policymaking, data collection information infrastructure to ensure that nurses, among other healthcare professionals, have the appropriate tools to excel in their positions.
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2 comments on "IOM: Nurses Need More Education, Training"


bil criteser (10/9/2010 at 2:41 PM)
I don't see where the study compared the different nursing credentials with outcome. However, they say they all need to have BSN's. Nursing has chosen to ignore many of the skills held by staff nurses in favor of those with alphabets after their name. Medical management has chosen in many cases to ignore nurse input in EHR and computerized health management tools. In many cases causing duplicative and time consuming charting. Too often the failures of the health care system are blamed on nursing. This study is a further deflection of those issues. I presume physicians headed this study? I obviously didn't look closer t ofind out if it is noted.

Dianne Meister (10/8/2010 at 12:59 PM)
I'm sorry, more education is good, but nurses right now are so far disconnected from patients in their education that they miss a lot to the detriment of patient care. I have seen things missed over the past couple of years that should have been picked up on, but not everything comes from books. You have to know how to oberve patients and how they will respond or not. Also, some hospital units are set up in ways that it seems like only charge nurses know lab/test results when the nurse caring for the patient hasn't a clue. A nurse caring for a patient should know everything about that patient.