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Institute of Medicine Report on Nursing’s Future

The panel this week included host Jamie Davis and he was joined by Terri Schmitt, a Missouri nurse practitioner and educator and author of the popular blog. Also returning to the show, regular panelists,Terri Polick of Nurse Ratched’s Place, Kim McAllister from the Emergiblog, Lorry Schoenly from and social media in nursing expert Rob Fraser from

This week’s show came about due to a timely suggestion by Lorry Schoenly to talk about the IOM report on the future of nursing. This sweeping look at the direction in which nursing should be headed starts off with the statement:

“Working on the front lines of patient care, nurses can play a vital role in helping realize the objectives set forth in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, legislation that represents the broadest health care overhaul since the 1965 creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. A number of barriers prevent nurses from being able to respond effectively to rapidly changing health care settings and an evolving health care system. These barriers need to be overcome to ensure that nurses are well-positioned to lead change and advance health.”

80% BSN Nurses by 2020?

One of the most ambitious recommendations in the report is the section on advancement of nursing education. It proposes the goal of transitioning the average 50% of the nursing workforce at the BSN level today to that of 80% of the workforce in the next 10 years. While this is a worthwhile goal, without the funding to pay for the ADN nurses to advance to the BSN level and the increase in pay that such an advance might ordinarily offer in another field, there is little hope of achieving this goal.

It makes no sense to shut down the existing pipeline of ADN nursing programs and requiring BSN as the minimum standard of education for registered nurse (RN). With the predicted nursing shortage, these ADN programs will be the only way we can meet the needs of the aging population and declining nursing workforce. Unless there is a major influx of scholarship funding from public and private sources to encourage nurses to go back to school in droves and provide them the financial incentive to do so, it is unlikely that the 80% goal will be reached by 2020.

Practice Within Full Scope of Nurse Training

One part of the process that met with approval from all of the panelists was the focus on expanding the scope and inclusion of advanced practice nurses nationwide. With health care costs continuing to skyrocket and a lack of needed primary care resources, offering a full provider status to nurse practitioners nationwide is one of the most effective ways to approach the broad primary care gap that exists. When physicians purport that they should be the only primary prescribers and decision makers for all patients, the IOM reports suggests that these objections be treated as anti-competitive practices and price fixing in the health care marketplace.

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Join us!

On the panel this week:

Lorry Schoenly of and on Twitter @LorrySchoenly. Lorry’s recent article on correctional nurse handling patient hunger strikes.

Kim McAllister of and on Twitter @emergiblog.

Terri Polick of Nurse Ratched’s Place and on Twitter @motherjonesRN.

Terri Schmitt from and on Twitter @onlinenursing.

Rob Fraser from and on Twitter

and host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic, RN, NREMTP, BA, AAS managing director of the ProMed Network and host of the Nursing Show and MedicCast weekly programs.

Join us as we delve in to our week’s topic.


Links from the show:

IOM Report Page

IOM Report Video Briefing

Collection of links to reactions to the IOM Report

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