How a siloed profession can be a revolutionary force by doing two things.
Healthcare culture is long overdue for the appropriate acknowledgment of the full capabilities of the nursing profession.
Data can be collected and assessed to configure innovative strategies for insufficient areas of nursing.
Collaborative effort can create opportunities for the comparison of initiatives and policies that are in need of refinement.
We as a society continue to endure the relentless effects of the pandemic.
The underlying faults within our nation’s healthcare system have been magnified during the COVID pandemic. The significant constrainment of nursing practice, as well as the lack of diversity within healthcare, are issues that have proven to be critical in the progression of healthcare reform.
The Future Of Nursing 2020-2030 report emphasizes the need to invest in the nursing profession, as well as providing the space for nurses to practice to the fullest extent of their education. The healthcare culture is long overdue for the appropriate acknowledgment of the full capabilities of the nursing profession. Changes, such as these, will lead to systematic change and influence policy work for the ongoing disparities in healthcare.
With public health at the forefront of our current social problems, the nursing profession is key to the progression of our healthcare system. The extensive field of nursing has the ability to engage firsthand with patients in underserved and minority communities. This gives the nursing professionals the perspective of knowing the disparities that affect the communities they serve, through advocacy and education.
There needs to be a willingness to internally correct the values and initiatives that have been normalized as the healthcare standard.
The social contract with nursing has afforded nurses as contributors to patient quality including preventive health measures and early interventions and has proven how invaluable nurses are to shaping the wellness of our society. So in order to have an optional healthcare system, it is imperative that the nursing profession be an influential factor in health care reform.
As our communities and hospital systems are still encumbered by the racial and socioeconomic inequalities that result in health inequities, the COVID pandemic has proven the need for drastic transformation. In order to thoroughly bring forth change, there needs to be cooperation and accountability throughout an organization’s network. There needs to be a willingness to internally correct the values and initiatives that have been normalized as the healthcare standard.
The First Step
The first step is by analyzing the efficiency of current nursing initiatives that improve health inequity, racial disparities, and the social determinants of health.
The data collected can be assessed to configure innovative strategies for insufficient areas of nursing by utilizing the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity report. This decade-long study report, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also included an up-to-date analysis of the pandemic's impact on our society.
It contains nine recommendations and 54 sub-recommendations that states “[the] actions that can make a meaningful impact on deploying the profession more robustly, so that nurses will be both prepared for disasters in the future” (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021, p.xiv). The recommendations can be the fundamental framework tool in restructuring policies and laws that affect organizations, institutions, communities, and nursing schools.
The Second Step
Another crucial way to bring forth the progressive changes required in our current climate in our society is through collaboration with state-based organizations and stakeholders.
With this approach, a collaborative effort can create opportunities for the comparison of initiatives and policies that are in need of refinement within their healthcare organizations. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2021) stated that “ [by building] a broader coalition to increase awareness of nurses’ ability to play a full role in health professions practice, education, collaboration, and leadership; the need to continue to make promoting diversity in the nursing workforce a priority; and the need for better data with which to assess and drive progress” p. x.
In conclusion, the Future of Nursing report is an essential tool for the change our society is yearning for. As stakeholders and organizations start to take accountability for the objectives that stall the progression of healthcare reform and the nursing profession, will in fact increase the overall effectiveness of the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 recommendations. Having a uniform pledge with a shared agenda based on the recommendations will efficiently change the nursing system, as well as the healthcare infrastructure for the future to come. This is imperative for not only the progression of nursing but the overall wellness of our society.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2021). The future of nursing 2020–2030: Charting a path to achieve health equity. Washington, DC: The National AcademiesPress. https://doi.org/10.17226/25982.
*Special thanks to Dr. Sharon Goldfarb, Dr. Garret Chan for helping with this article.
About the Author:
Make'da Traynum MSN, RN
ANA\California Advocacy Institute Fellow 2022
Make'da is a Registered Nurse who obtained an MSN - Executive Leadership with the aspirations to be a part of the force that changes healthcare policies and regulations for citizens in dire need. My overall goal is to have a hand in pushing Healthcare equity forward.
About HealthImpact & ANA\California
HealthImpact and ANA\California are coalition partners working together to address the Future of Nursing Reports 2020-2030 recommendations. HealthImpact's mission is to shape health care through workforce strategy, stakeholder convening, and policy advocacy.