Sample Paper on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

Nurses are acknowledged as leaders and agents of change poised to transform the healthcare sector. These professionals are seen as people who are capable of offering patient-centered, effective, safe, and affordable health care services in line with the provisions of Affordable Care Act of 2010. The recommendations and key messages of the IOM’s report advocate for evidence-based practice and a remodeled healthcare system to guarantee high-quality care. The IOM report influences future nursing practice by empowering nurses through education and encouraging a collaborative approach to improving the ability of nurses to provide high-quality care.

Summary of the Key Messages

The IOM report outlines key essential messages. Foremost, the report asserts that nurses should be allowed to operate to their maximum potential in line with their education and training. In other words, nurses should not be limited by their job descriptions and responsibilities that their supervisors assign them (Nickitas, 2010). Moreover, the education system ought to be transformed to support nurses’ quest to advance their knowledge to improve their performance. For example, the education system should allow for flexible class sessions to address education needs of nurses who may be preoccupied by the other personal and work responsibilities. Flexibility of the nursing education system will allow seamless career progression of the nurses.

In a remodeled health system, nurses should be identified as strategic partners. Per Nickitas (2010), the mentioned perception allows nurses to contribute towards provision of comprehensive care alongside other professionals, including physicians, midwives, and pharmacists. Ultimately, the IOM report reveals the need for effective work planning and policy formulation intended to improve the nursing practice anchored on use of evidence derived from research. Therefore, these messages are significant in the nursing practice because they attempt to empower and transform the nursing practice by allowing nurses to enthusiastically participate in management and leadership. Moreover, the career progression imparts new knowledge and competencies for nurses to use to address the diverse needs of patients in the cultural diverse American society.

Influence on Nursing Education and Leadership

The IOM report directly impacts the nursing profession by ensuring there are adequate nurses who have appropriate skills and competencies to address the diverse needs of patients. According to Bavier (2016), having enough qualified nurses with right skills enhances safety and improves the quality of care. The nurses with modern nursing knowledge are better equipped to occupy leadership positions and formulate policies as compared to those who are not.  The report attempts to eliminate the barriers that prevent nurses from pursuing advanced knowledge to improve their ability to integrate evidence-based practice in nursing to provide high-quality care and services.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree allows a nurse to address the current healthcare demands. Additionally, BSN creates an opportunity for nurses to engage in advance nursing education in the future, and equips them with knowledge to occupy the leadership and management positions. Therefore, with the BSN knowledge, nurses can provide competent and compassionate care for diverse patients with physical and mental health needs. The nurses can also collaborate and comfortably work with different medical professionals across diverse health care environments. Goodman (2015) affirms BSN degree eliminates the limitations and barriers that prevent a nurse from conducting patients’ assessment and admitting a patient in hospital in the absence of a physician. Finally, BSN-prepared Nurses are highly adaptive to innovative technology that is consistently transforming the general landscape of nursing practice.

Evolution of Nurse’s Role and Education

The IOM report indicates that nursing education and role of nurses need to evolve to address the changes and meet the complex demand of diverse patients. The current healthcare setting is understaffed and underprepared to meet the complex needs of the aging and diverse American population. Therefore, the roles of nurses and education need to be transformed to address deteriorating physical and mental capacities of the elderly. Particularly, nurses need to be adequately equipped with supplemental information to effectively provide geriatric care to diverse patients with unique needs.

Significance of Professional Development or Lifelong Learning

Education is essential for nurses because of their need to continue advancing their nursing knowledge to help them to cope with the changes witnessed in the healthcare system. The composition of the population keeps changing and so does its needs. For example, in some nations today, the population of people over the 65-year-old is quite high. Some areas are populated by minorities, who have unique healthcare needs. The elderly and minority communities tend to experience more health issues, such as chronic illnesses, that reduce their life expectancy as compared to other populations. Therefore, the IOM report removes restriction in learning to allow nurses gain expertise in managing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high-blood pressure, cancer, and obesity within the health-illnesses continuum, to help the populations that are vulnerable to these conditions. Per Murphy et al. (2015), lifelong and continuous education bestows nurses with critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to resolve pertinent issues affecting the diverse American population. Ongoing learning is relevant to build a strong collaborative relationship with patients and other care givers. Additionally, advanced learning equips professionals with knowledge for improving patient outcomes, reducing chances of medical errors, and reducing mortality rates within the population.

Role of Nurses in Managing Care

Nurses ensure that patients are managed effectively by assessing their long-term healthcare and nutritional needs. The evolving healthcare system is also marked by diverse care needs, and the nurses help to develop and customize care plans that directly fulfill these needs. According to Murphy et al. (2015), nurses enhance provision of care by coordinating care interventions across diverse healthcare environments to oversee the provision of much-needed help. Additionally, these professionals are instrumental in managing patient care by engaging family members and caregivers to implement comprehensive care plans for the elderly.


Nurses are integral in future medical practice as they are directly involved in the provision of patient-centered, effective, and safe and affordable care to patients. It is essential for nurses to attain requisite knowledge and expertise to utilize data and evidence to transform the nursing practice. The IOM report singles out education and ongoing learning as essential in achieving the healthcare sector’s vision of providing high-quality and affordable care to all. Education empowers nurses to provide high-quality care and address management challenges currently witnessed in the healthcare sector.



Bavier, A. (2016). Education’s why: Debriefing as how. Nursing Education Perspectives, 37(1), 1-22.

Goodman, T. (2015). RN-to-BSN programs key to reaching an important nursing goal. AORN, 102(1), 1-2.

Murphy, M., Staffileno, B. & Carlson, E. (2015). Collaboration among DNP and PhD prepared nurses: Opportunity to drive positive change. J Prof Nurs, 31(5), 388-394.

Nickitas, D. (2010). A vision for future health care: Where nurses lead the change. Nursing Economics, 28(6), 361-385.