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Tri-Council for Nursing Calls for Collaborative Action in Support of the IOM’s Future of Nursing Report


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 14, 2010 – Today, the Tri-Council for Nursing announces its strong endorsement of the new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on The Future of Nursing and calls for collaboration among stakeholders to advance the report’s recommendations. The Tri-Council organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and National League for Nursing, are united in their view that this report provides a practical blueprint for elevating nursing’s role in transforming the healthcare delivery system and meeting the challenges of healthcare reform for the betterment of patient care.

The Tri-Council recognizes that nurses, as the largest component of the healthcare workforce, are uniquely positioned to lead the charge to ensure that accessible, high quality care is available to the nation’s diverse patient population. To achieve this goal, the Tri-Council organizations are committed to supporting the core recommendations outlined in the IOM report, which were developed around these four key messages: 

  • Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
  • Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
  • Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.
  • Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

“Meaningful healthcare reform cannot occur unless the nursing profession takes decisive and collaborative action to fully engage in redesigning the nation's healthcare system,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The IOM report lays the groundwork for uniting the profession around shared priorities and achievable goals, and we are eager to work with our colleagues across disciplines to move the profession forward.”

“The IOM report relies on a robust evidence base to demonstrate the leadership capacity of registered nurses in a patient-centered care environment,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN. “It calls for actions to maximize the contributions of all nurses and to eliminate barriers that prevent them from practicing to the full extent of their education and training.”

“This seminal report presents a watershed moment for the nursing profession as we work to reform health care,” said AONE President Pamela Rudisill, MSN, RN, MEd, NEA-BC. “It represents challenges but great opportunities to recreate nursing in America by removing barriers

to scope of practice, expanding collaborative efforts such as AONE's Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB), and promoting a better educated workforce and the value of nursing through evidence-based research and enhanced data collection efforts.”

“The NLN has been privileged to participate with the IOM and RWJF in the exploration of how nursing can help advance our nation’s health care,” said NLN President Cathleen Shultz, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN. “Their vital and creative initiative on the “Future of Nursing” reflects how seriously these thoughtful organizations regard the role of nursing education and academic progression in re- imagining that future and advancing the health of our nation."

In 2008, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the IOM launched a two-year initiative to respond to the need to assess and transform the nursing profession. The IOM appointed the Committee on the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the IOM, with the purpose of producing a report that would make bold recommendations to shape the future of nursing. Study director Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, guided this effort in consultation with an expert committee that included leaders in nursing education and practice as well as representatives from an array of healthcare, consumer, business, and research interests.


Why Base the Future of Nursing Study at the IOM?

Contrary to its name, the Institute of Medicine is an interdisciplinary advisory body to the nation on issues impacting health. Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policy makers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. While expert committees play an important role in guiding report development, the IOM also convenes public forums, roundtables, and other activities to facilitate discussion, discovery, and cross-discipline thinking.

The IOM has a history of making recommendations for improving health care and reforming health professions education that have had profound impact on stimulating positive change. Past reports include the landmark To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System (1999), Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality (2003), and Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses (2004).

The Tri-Council for Nursing has long served as a catalyst for uniting the profession around issues of great concerns to nurses in practice, research, and academic settings. The coalition has released a series of consensus statements over the years, including recommendations for reversing the nursing shortage and redesigning systems to reduce medical errors. The Tri-Council’s latest statement on the Educational Advancement of Registered Nurses, which was released in May 2010, echoes many of the recommendations outlined in the new IOM report. This statement is posted online at workforce_supply_statement_final,pdf.

The Tri-Council for Nursing is an alliance of four autonomous nursing organizations each focused on leadership for education, practice and research. While each organization has its own constituent membership and unique mission, they are united by common values and convene regularly for the purpose of dialogue and consensus building, to provide stewardship within the profession of nursing. These organizations represent nurses in practice, nurse executives and nursing educators. The Tri-Council’s diverse interests encompass the nursing work environment, health care legislation and policy, quality of health care, nursing education, practice, research and leadership across all segments of the health delivery system.