In November of 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health”. This special report examined the current state of nursing and changing landscape of the American healthcare system and offered recommendations for the future role nurses should play. The committee that released the report, Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, divided it into three parts. Part II of the study, focused on transforming the nursing profession in order to improve America’s healthcare system. In order to achieve this transformation, the committee recommended that nurses attain higher levels of education and training, practice to the full extent of that education and training, and assume more of a leadership role (Heller, Oros, & Durney-Crowley, 2013).
Nursing is unique among the health care professions in America because there are many educational pathways that lead to an entry-level license to practice. At the present, there are three types of programs: Diploma programs offered through hospitals, ADN degree programs through junior or community colleges, and BSN degree programs. While these pathways provide different opportunities for people to become nurses, the study recommended that a more uniform educational process be established. “Nursing education should serve as a platform for continued lifelong learning and include opportunities for seamless transition to higher degree programs. Accrediting, licensing, and certifying organizations need to mandate demonstrated mastery of core skills and competencies to complement the completion of degree programs and written board examinations” (IOM, 2010, p. 163). The report recommended that nurses with ADN and diploma degrees begin B...
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