IOM's Long Road to Reform Nursing Begins
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 www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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