Issues regarding the role of nurses in health care have been a topic of concern for decades. In October 2010, following a two-year investigation of national experts coordinated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) a landmark report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” was published that delineated how nursing can contribute to an improved American health care delivery system.
Links regarding issues leading to the IOM report, activity to address the recommendations of the report, the nursing shortage, the impact of nursing, nurse training’s role in improving patient care outcomes, and compelling evidence of the need for change are provided:
As a result of the IOM report, a national collaboration was formed between The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP Foundation, named the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to implement the report recommendations. The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), located at AARP, currently oversees the national effort to achieve the IOM recommendations and provide technical support to those involved at the state and local level. Their dashboard identifies the focus of national efforts.
Activities in Each State and Florida
From the national Campaign’s leadership, 51 state Action Coalitions now exist including the Florida Action Coalition (FL-AC). Florida Blue Foundation (FBF) in partnership with the Florida Center for Nursing (FCN) co-leads this effort in Florida.
Florida Action Coalition (FL-AC)
The FL-AC was formed in February 2011. FL-AC invited state leaders both inside and outside nursing to participate in the coalition, including elected officials, health industry executives, physicians and other health professionals, educators, philanthropists, AARP Florida and leaders in the business community. Twenty-one statewide leaders have been involved in the Steering Committee.
FL-AC Goals and Objectives
The IOM report’s 40-plus recommendations were condensed into 8 primary recommendations for advancing nursing in the US. These, in turn, have been assigned to one of four focus areas/pillars by the national Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.
The agreed upon priorities for Florida are:
- Prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health.
- Increase the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degree to 80% by 2020.
- Build an infrastructure for the collection/analysis of health care work force data.
- Assure that nurses practice to the full extent of their education and experience.
Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC)
The Education Action Team established a regional pilot project to develop and implement successful resources. The pilot project is called the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition. It encompasses a four-county area: Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte (See graphic representation).
SNAC is designed to include health care employers (hospitals, nursing homes, and public health agencies), academics (organizations training nurses), and the community in a collaborative effort to address and achieve identified goals. A Tool Kit is used as a guide for the pilot containing a recommended structure, survey instrument, and examples of successful approaches. Successful results of employing the Tool Kit will provide a guide for other regions, the state, and potentially beyond.
The Patterson Foundation began supporting SNAC by providing a consultant, Deborah Gauvreau, to facilitate the development of solutions that move from growing and gaining traction into dynamic thrivability of the implemented IOM recommendations in this region.