United States is transforming its health care sector in order to give affordable and quality healthcare to its people.
This system is envisioned to be accessible to every patient centered and evidence based care facility that will improve the health care. In order to realize this dream, the system requires drastic remodeling in various aspects (Domino, 2005). One of the major aspects that shall be considered is the nursing profession that represents the largest part of the system.By looking into various aspects of the nursing profession, nursing organizations as well as the state bodies can develop measures that will see futures developments within this sector. Of importance are the major issues in nursing like evidence based practice, education and training, staffing, research and leadership.
This vision aims at addressing these aspects in the hope of recommending the best approaches to the development of nurses. It is envisioned that not only will they impact todays’ nurse but provide a platform on which future policy makers and leaders can direct nursing. The Vision of NursingFollowing the signing into law the healthcare reform, United States took on the responsibility of transforming its healthcare system. The vision of this nation is to have affordable, quality, safe, and more accessible healthcare.
This represents the largest transformation in the healthcare sector since 1965 during the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid program. Such changes not only affect the patient but also the healthcare provider. According to Domino (2005) nurses are the primary sources of primary healthcare, transformations of the healthcare system cannot ignore this organ.Furthermore improved healthcare system, accessibility and affordability, translate to an increase to an increase in the number of patients in the healthcare system. The realization is that already the nursing profession faces various challenges. These are seen in the provision of reformed healthcare and the meeting of the increased health needs. Nursing staffing is not only a present issue but that has been a center of discussion over the years especially in the last decade.
As we try to grapple with the health care reforms, we cannot ignore the ongoing staffing in the nursing sector.Nursing has continually faced increased differences in demand and supply that the system has showed sign of insufficient number of nurses. According to Kany (2004) this is due to the problems that exist between the value and image associated with nursing. In addition to this, this deficiency has been associated to the limited role nurses have had in the identification of the priorities in the delivery of healthcare.
Therefore as we make steps towards a future marked by improved healthcare, there is a need to address this issue.It is important that we realize that efforts to increase the number of nurses are not emerging but an ongoing process (Cicatiello, 2000). Key holders within the healthcare system have realized the need for nurses to play an important role in the advancement of the future agenda of nurses. This advancement is seen as a means of changing policies that affect healthcare delivery, work environment and the diversity of the profession. Hence, as we embark on a new era of improved healthcare delivery, we should involve the participation of the nursing sector.
The major reason that was identified for the deteriorating number of nursing enrolment and the increase nursing shortage was image and value. Back in 2000 the American Nursing Association realized that the image of nurses and nursing was skewed (Kany, 2001). The association revealed that at that time there was lack of awareness and value for the nursing profession. Therefore this translated to reduced enrolment into nursing education and training programs.
This then led to the creation of nursing organization that would steer the future of the nursing profession.Various changes ever since have been put into effect to improve the number of enrolments into the profession. With efforts under way in the matching of the demand and supply of nurses, there exist a realization that the community of nurses can only realize change through effective leadership and planning. Kany (2004) argues that the American Nursing Association created a plan that would see the future development of the nursing program. This plan incorporated various steps that were seen as vital towards the increase in the number of nursing staff.Their plan realized that the first step was the creation of nursing leadership that creates comprehensive strategies that can direct the future of nursing (Cicatiello, 2000). These strategies will be realized through the assistance of nursing organizations and stakeholders within the healthcare system.
Stakeholders in this care are the respective nursing educators, nursing bodies that are associated with the welfare of nurses. Therefore nurse’s role should move beyond patient care and recovery but to leadership and planning.Hence the future of nurses will have a base that is characterized by collaborative efforts of their own actions in order to support healthcare administration in the implementation of healthcare plans. Hence the future will be one where the nurses will be actively involved in the planning, implementation and exeution of any policy and plans that are related to their job description.
Another important role we envision in our nurses is the ability to increase the economic value of the nursing organ. Cicatiello (2000) implies that nurses should contribute more towards the improvement of the quality of the healthcare patients receive.This care must be matched to the proper utilization and the saving of money set aside for healthcare. In order to realize this role, the nurse must be one who can economically utilize healthcare facilities that are assigned to them. This is seen as an important factor since they have direct access to the pharmaceutical products, medical tools and even energy sources that are utilized by healthcare facilities. Hence by being indirect control of these resources, they are obligated to use them wisely as they provide healthcare to patients. In addition to this vision, we can further advance the goal of the American Nursing Association.
This organization had seen a need for nurses to integrate nursing delivery systems or models. This implies that any nursing model or delivery system that is used cab be integrated in order to improve the services of nurses. According to Kany (2004) the ANA saw this as one of the decisive factors towards the development of the nursing sector. On the other hand, nurses play an important role to the public relations of the healthcare sector. This is because by being the largest sector in the delivery sector of the healthcare department, they have the greatest influence over the image of this sector.
According to Kany (2004) the values the sector holds towards healthcare delivery, creates an image of nurses. Furthermore it also affects the quality of the delivery of the healthcare services. In order to improve the image, value and quality of the healthcare system, the nursing sector must promote this field. It is without a doubt that patients are known to respond well to treatment and the healthcare system depending of the care of their nurses.
How well the new reforms in the healthcare sector will take effect will be greatly influenced by the nurses.Hence, not only will they be responsible for public relations but this role will be furthered by how well the nurses uphold the nursing culture. They need to realize that not only is service delivery important, but they need to uphold a professional culture that will define the nursing profession. They can best create a nursing culture, by acquiring the necessary education, training, image, satisfaction and standards that will define this institution.
By embracing the values of nurses they will have changed the image the society holds about them.They will also possess in them the power to establish them as a vital part of the healthcare system. Nurses should realize that they have the power to make and promote their profession. Only have they presented themselves as a force to recon with will they be able to make-to-make impact on their profession as contributors to policy making. Not only will they have an impact on policy and decision-making, but they will also attract the number of registered nurses. In the end the vision is a nurse who will be able to be able effective leader who upholds the values of their profession.
The development of this nurse will be realized through the partnership of all the stakeholders within the nursing sector. This vision is also supported by (Tornabeni & Miller, 2008), who describe the evolution of the nurse to a nursing leader. This nursing leader is able to connect academic and practice in order to design the role of the nurse. It is without a doubt that the reforms have the potential to create gaps within the system. These gaps will be realizes through the missing steps in the passing into law the implementation of the changes.This is because apart form the changes that the law has brought, there exists changes within the healthcare insurance system that directly affects the system. According to the Tornabeni and Miller (2008) this is couples with the changes in the modalities of treatment and increased education of healthcare providers creates loop holes.
Such loopholes in the system can only be effectively handles by professionals and effective leadership. The nurse as the primary healthcare giver has the power to provide a consistent environment to the patient.They are at the core of the healthcare system and therefore possess the power to effect the changes required smoothly.
Towards this effort our vision is of a nurse leader who utilizes evidence based practice in the professional field. Current nursing theories require nurses to incorporate research, practice and nursing theories in their profession (Squires, Moralejo, & LeFort, 2007). We have established that the traditional roles like care giving, public relations, professional etiquette, education and training are vital to the future of nurses.However, we cannot ignore current trends within the nursing profession, these are research and evidence based practice (Adamsen et al. , 2003). These approaches are used to create nursing theories that will improve the quality of nursing care. For a nurse to achieve evidence-based practice, they need to link the findings of their researched to their practices. This forms a benchmarked towards increased education and learning of nurses within the profession.
To improve the nursing profession nurses are encouraged to actively participate in solid research.Such research covers nursing areas like, assessment, prognosis, treatment, prevention, causation, clinical prediction and even qualitative studies (Squire, Moralejo, LeFort, 2007). During research nurses also learn important aspects like team participation, data collection and the conception and leading of a project. The data obtained from these researches will provide them with most needed information on the healthcare giving. Nursing research will help develop the professional competence of the nurses in the field. This is because they will able to use the academic knowledge and research in the advancement of their skills.The hope is that more nurses realize the power of nursing research in the development of skills and knowledge.
The wealth of knowledge that can be created and realized from research and analysis will not only help the nurse but will also assist in healthcare reforms. Nurses are encouraged to utilize available, cause studies, opinions of experts and clinical trials in order to further their research. The research findings from these analyses if well evaluated and utilized, they will go a long way in evidenced based practice.According to Squires, Moralejo and LeFort (2007), evidence based practice and researched are being taught in the current nursing education and training programs, it is only through application in the field that actualization can be realized. The health sector is endowed with a wealth of knowledge, from qualitative and qualitative researches. The nurse can utilize this background information to create a pool of knowledge that can be applied to their skills. This will be a viable means for them to improve their profession will creating the solid basis for the future.According to Houser (2007), evidence based research is best achieved through, the matching of the problem to a research method.
This method is one that will best provide reliable data, factors, and outcomes on patient, intervention measures, and predictors. It is without a doubt that for evidence based research to be effective the nurse must also evaluate their personal experience and abilities. A self-evaluation can be most applicable if the nurse joins a research team that will provide feedback on their assessment. Since self-tests can be biased, only through colleagues can a nurse realize their competence.
Houser (2007) believes that such test provide the best results if the participants or audience are made aware of the outcome. Participants in this care being the administrators, other nurses, or team members, this is because the truth discovered in this research can go along way in assisting the entire healthcare system address areas for concern. They also assist in decision policy making and implementation. A well-informed healthcare nurse is able to assist the healthcare system meet its goals. Therefore not only does the nurse assist the patient in improved quality care but the administration too benefits from responsible nurses.The vision is that the healthcare nurse becomes an effective leader in their field.
Such a leader will be able to meet the demands of an ever changing system but more so assist with the current reforms. This nurse wills also posses the dynamics required towards the steering of the nursing profession in the right direction. It is without a doubt that the nurse of the future is expected to decisive factor in the development and growth in the nursing profession. The dream of this nation is that the healthcare system will cater for the needs of the nation as well as provide quality healthcare.The nurse in this case holds the key towards the achievement of this dream.
The vision is that the nurse of the future will evolve from not only providing care to the patient but will be actively involved in decision making. The nurse therefore should fully practice the education and training they acquired. Through this practice there will be able to improve their career, profession and ultimately healthcare services. Furthermore, by improving this profession, they will have to power to improve nursing education. Therefore nursing organizations and stakeholders need to create nurse leaders.This will give them the power to participate fully in design and development of the healthcare sector. They will also be able to assist and contribute to decision and policy making that affects the nursing sector.
Such support will be realized from the wealth of date they will posses from the evidence based practice and research. Hence, for the reforms to be effective it is envisioned that the nursing community will take these factors into practice. The establishment of long-term goals will be seen as an added advantage towards the realization of this dream.