NRS-430V: IOM Report Discussion

Review the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” Write a 750‐1,000 word paper discussing the influence of the IOM report on nursing practice. Include the following:

Summarize the four messages outlined in the IOM report and explain why these are significant to nursing practice.
Discuss the direct influence the IOM report has on nursing education and nursing leadership. Describe the benefits and opportunities for BSN‐prepared nurses.
Explain why it is important that a nurse’s role and education evolve to meet the needs of an aging and increasingly diverse population.
Discuss the significance of professional development, or lifelong learning, and its relevance in caring for diverse populations across the life span and within the health‐illness continuum.
Discuss how nurses can assist in effectively managing patient care within an evolving health care system.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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IOM Report Discussion

The institute of medicine (IOM), in its report “The future of nursing: a leading change, advancing health” in 2010, aimed to reform healthcare through the nursing profession. The report considers the various roles of nurses in delivering healthcare services. It also envisions the expansion of the roles and duties of nurses in the future and the necessity to change education, practice, and healthcare leadership to accommodate these changes. The various types of nurses form the central position of healthcare services delivery, making their duties indispensable to the healthcare system. The discussion summarizes the four messages in the IOM report and their influence on nursing practice, explaining the reasons for evolving nursing education to meet the care needs of diverse populations. Further, it will explain the importance of professional development on care delivery and how nurses play a supporting role in patient management within the constantly changing healthcare system.

IOM’s Four Messages Summarized

The IOM recommends four primary changes in the call for transformation and expansion. The report states that nurses play a critical role as team leaders and members, and the first recommendation states that nurses should practice the full capacity of their professional

education and training. The second, IOM report recommends enhancing education system that supports seamless academic progression. This will help nurses to pursue and achieve higher education levels and training (Kovner et al., 2018). Further, the report suggests partnering of nurses with other healthcare practitioners like physicians to redesign United Sates’ healthcare. The last message is a need for effective workforce policy-making and planning supported by enhanced data collection methods and information infrastructure. The four recommendations equip nurses with the necessary environment to provide quality care. Besides, with higher education, their patients trust their care abilities, increasing patient safety.

IOM Influence on Nursing Education and Leadership

The IOM report influences nursing education and leadership directly. The healthcare system constantly evolves, necessitating nursing education to change as well to equip healthcare professionals to cater to the care needs effectively. Besides, the nursing roles are expanding, requiring an equal improvement in education and training for nurses to provide safe and quality care to their patients (Ma et al., 2018). To become a registered nurse, one can obtain an associate nursing degree, a nursing diploma, or a Baccalaureate nursing degree. Every nurse must pass the national council licensure examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN) regardless of the education path taken. The national council of state board administers the exam, and every nurse needs to pass it before obtaining their practicing license from the respective state boards. IOM suggests developing leadership programs that improve nurses’ capacity to lead change and enhance healthcare by creating innovative opportunities for professional growth and education. IOM recognizes nurses’ leading role in achieving successful and sustainable healthcare in the US. They are at the forefront of devising healthcare improvements and leading various quality interventions. Last, it states that nurses need to advance the education that equips them to provide quality care.

Being BSN-prepared has various opportunities and it is a necessity. BSN equips nurses with enhanced research and critical thinking skills that enhance their abilities to apply evidence-based practices and collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare teams. All these are important to cater to the diverse care needs and the expanding nursing roles anticipated by IOM. Also, BSN equips nurses with various skills compared to other nursing educational pathways, introducing nurses to broader areas of competency like health policy, leadership, financing, and quality improvement. It offers opportunities for registered nurses to work in various settings.

Importance of Nurse’s Role to Evolve

The nurse’s role must evolve with the nursing education to provide quality and safe care to various populations. Diverse populations and the older people percentage has been increasing, necessitating the nursing role to evolve to satisfy the care of these populations. There is a higher life expectancy today, and the baby boomers are aging, where the number of older adults is expected to grow exponentially in the future. It increases the demand for nursing care as this population needs more healthcare attention (Buerhaus et al., 2017). Further, chronic diseases and illnesses have been rising with the higher older adults and the diverse populations. People living longer does not translate to them living a healthier life. Older adults experience a substantial decrease in mental and physical capabilities. It necessitates nurses to acquire the necessary education and skills that will equip them to provide high-quality care to increase the older adult’s independence and self-manage various chronic illnesses for long.

Significance of Professional Development

Nursing career advancement and progression is continuous and entails professional development, and is not only limited to education. IOM report states that the nursing profession is evolving rapidly regarding its complexity and technologies. It calls for lifelong learning, which includes cultural competencies and communication with patients of diverse populations across the lifespan and within health illness (Bergren & Maughan, 2021). Nurses can ensure they attain these skills through training and joining career advancement programs. For instance, a nurse needs to know how to communicate with their patients and family about sensitive topics like end-of-life decisions. One can gain these skills only through lifelong learning to ensure they remain relevant. They offer quality and safe care services to all patients regardless of their age groups, ethnicity, or illness.

Nurses’ Role in Managing Patient Care

Nurses are at the front line in managing patient care, making their duties indispensable, especially with the ever-changing healthcare system. The rapid changes in care delivery, the advanced technology, and the higher patient expectations necessitate nurses to match the pace of advancement. They play a significant role by being the primary point of contact between physicians and patients during visits (Ma et al., 2018). They observe and assess patients in both outpatient and inpatient care services, maintain care plans given by physicians, and perform diagnostic tests. They also help to educate patients on their illnesses and provide alternatives for living healthier lifestyles to prevent or manage diseases. Nurses need advanced education and collaboration with other healthcare professionals to achieve these goals.

The discussion about IOM’s report has been insightful. It is evident that nurses need always update their knowledge, skills, and competencies to provide quality care in the ever-changing healthcare system. The care needs are becoming complex and diverse, necessitating nurses to change their capabilities to match these changes to provide safe and quality care.


Bergren, M. D., & Maughan, E. D. (2021). The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: School Nursing Research. The Journal of School Nursing: The Official Publication of the National Association of School Nurses, 10598405211036948-10598405211036948.

Buerhaus, P. I., Skinner, L. E., Auerbach, D. I., & Staiger, D. O. (2017). State of the registered nurse workforce as a new era of health reform emerges. Nursing Economics35(5), 229-237.

Kovner, C. T., Djukic, M., Jun, J., Fletcher, J., Fatehi, F. K., & Brewer, C. S. (2018). Diversity and education of the nursing workforce 2006–2016. Nursing Outlook66(2), 160-167.

Ma, C., Garrard, L., & He, J. (2018). Recent Trends in Baccalaureate‐Prepared Registered Nurses in US Acute Care Hospital Units, 2004–2013: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Nursing Scholarship50(1), 83-91.