The Future of Nursing


Recommendations and Research Priorities

The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity

Creating a Shared Agenda

Recommendation 1: In 2021, all national nursing organizations should initiate work to develop a shared agenda for addressing social determinants of health and achieving health equity. This agenda should include explicit priorities across nursing practice, education, leadership, and health policy engagement. The Tri-Council for Nursing2 and the Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations,3 with their associated member organizations, should work collaboratively and leverage their respective expertise in leading this agenda-setting process. Relevant expertise should be identified and shared across national nursing organizations, including the Federal Nursing Service Council4 and the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations. With support from the government, payers, health and health care organizations, and foundations, the implementation of this agenda should include associated timelines and metrics for measuring impact.

Supporting Nurses to Advance Health Equity

Recommendation 2: By 2023, state and federal government agencies, health care and public health organizations, payers, and foundations should initiate substantive actions to enable the nursing workforce to address social determinants of health and health equity more comprehensively, regardless of practice setting.

Promoting Nurses’ Health and Well-Being

Recommendation 3: By 2021, nursing education programs, employers, nursing leaders, licensing boards, and nursing organizations should initiate the implementation of structures, systems, and evidence-based interventions to promote nurses’ health and well-being, especially as they take on new roles to advance health equity.

Capitalizing on Nurses’ Potential

Recommendation 4: All organizations, including state and federal entities and employing organizations, should enable nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training by removing barriers that prevent them from more fully addressing social needs and social determinants of health and improving health care access, quality, and value. These barriers include regulatory and public and private payment limitations; restrictive policies and practices; and other legal, professional, and commercial6 impediments.

Paying for Nursing Care

Recommendation 5: Federal, tribal, state, local, and private payers and public health agencies should establish sustainable and flexible payment mechanisms to support nurses in both health care and public health, includ- ing school nurses, in addressing social needs, social determinants of health, and health equity.

Using Technology to Integrate Data on Social Determinants of Health into Nursing Practice

Recommendation 6: All public and private health care systems should incorporate nursing expertise in designing, generating, analyzing and applying data to support initiatives focused on social determinants of health and health equity using diverse digital platforms, artificial intelligence, and other innovative technologies.

Strengthening Nursing Education

Recommendation 7: Nursing education programs, including continuing education, and accreditors and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing should ensure that nurses are prepared to address social determinants of health and achieve health equity.

Preparing Nurses to Respond to Disasters and Public Health Emergencies

Recommendation 8: To enable nurses to address inequities within communities, federal agencies and other key stakeholders within and outside the nursing profession should strengthen and protect the nursing workforce during the response to such public health emergencies as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, including those related to climate change.

Building the Evidence Base

Recommendation 9: The National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Medi- care & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Agency for Health- care Research and Quality, the Administration for Children and Families, the Administration for Community Living, and private associations and foundations should convene representatives from nursing, public health, and health care to develop and support a research agenda and evidence base describing the impact of nursing interventions, including multisector collaboration, on social determinants of health, environmental health, health equity, and nurses’ health and well-being.