WIHI: Nursing’s New Roadmap: Education, the Workforce, and Health Care Quality

Date: November 18, 2010
  • Donna Shalala, PhD, former US Secretary of Health and Human Services; President, University of Miami; Chair, Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, Institute of Medicine
  • Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, Vice President for Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Vice Chair, IOM Committee on the Future of Nursing
  • Patricia Benner, RN, PhD, FAAN, Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Author, Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation and From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Nursing
What’s it going to take for the health care system to take full advantage of the potential of nurses – and for nurses to realize their full potential? These twin questions are not new to the nursing profession, or to policy makers. Both groups have been wrestling for years to find the right levers to increase not just the ranks of RNs, but their skills and recognition as key members of health care teams. Although this has led to some successes and improvements, the solutions haven’t kept up with demands. Health care reform has only intensified the need to sharpen strategies, especially as nurses have the potential to play a critical role in creating a more patient-centered, integrated delivery system.
In October, the Institute of Medicine released a report called The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The study committee’s Chair and Vice Chair, Donna Shalala and Linda Burnes Bolton, join WIHI to review the recommendations and to talk about how to turn the substantial report into action. Everyone in health care, not just nurses, has a role to play in driving many of the ideas forward. One of health care’s and nursing’s most respected educators, Patricia Benner, will round out the panel with some special focus on the changes needed in nursing education to ensure that RNs have the necessary skills and preparation to assume greater leadership and patient care roles.
Any discussion about the goals and ambitions for any health profession must take into consideration how these align with the needs of health care reform – including better quality, better health, at reduced costs. 


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