IOM's Long Road to Reform Nursing Begins

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , December 14, 2010

Yet evidence shows that higher-educated nurses produce better patient outcomes. We also know that to fulfill the recommendations of the committee, and meet the future healthcare needs of the country, we need a well-educated, well-trained nursing workforce.

Another Herculean battle to overcome is the recommendation that scope of practice barriers be removed. The state-by-state differences in the regulations regarding advanced practice nurse practitioners are absurd. That one state considers nurse practitioners competent to see patients and prescribe medications independently while another requires physician oversight to do the same is ludicrous.

Meeting the needs of our aging population is going to require multitudes of healthcare providers of varying levels and specialties, and it only makes sense to use our limited resources to the extent of their capabilities and to find ways for everyone to work together for the good of patients.

It will be interesting to follow what happens as the real work begins.

Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at

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3 comments on "IOM's Long Road to Reform Nursing Begins"

vickie armstrong (12/20/2010 at 9:31 PM)
I can't agree with the IOM's initiative to improve nursing in this country. As an advance practice nurse I deliver quality health care to the sickest frailest population that we have-long term care residents but there are multiple barriers for me and others that practice in this setting. Examples: Anthem Insurance company does not recognize NPs or PAs, and those visits have to be billed as incident to physician and would be reimbursed at the higher 100% rate BUT incident to does not apply in long term care or skilled nursing SO it may not be paid at all! I have to be SUPERVISED by a physician here in Virginia but not other places. Home health care requlations that are starting effective 1-1-11 effectively bar me from ordering home health care service when I am discharging patients to home from SNF! Nursing education-let's start with requiring CEU's to renew nursing licenses in all states! It scares me to think that a nurse can be licensed 30 years ago and never have to learn or read another thing and can still practice. Employer requirements for CEUs? That won't happen because they don't want to pay for it. These are crucial needs and I hope that IOM and the initiative make a difference.

Michael Karns NP (12/17/2010 at 12:38 PM)
The work required is straight uphill, but what worthy goals these are to strive for. Do our patients deserve any less? All NP's need to roll up their sleeves and pitch in just as those before us did.

Christy Price Rabetoy, NP (12/15/2010 at 10:48 AM)
WOW!! Maybe the 1965 mandate for entry level for future nurses to be BSN prepared will become a reality. Maybe nurses will actually move from being the LEAST educationally prepared to being finally closer to all other health care providers. Maybe nurses will be able to have a true professional identity with a university, professioanl degree, in lieu of a technical, junior college degree.




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