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October 6, 2010

Patricia Adams

Dean Janet Allan Releases Statement on IOM Recommendations for the Future of Nursing

Baltimore, Md.— On Oct. 5, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued the conclusions of its two-year assessment of the nursing profession, with recommendations for changes needed to best harness the expertise of nurses in a reformed health care system. The following is the statement by Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN on this landmark release.

“The IOM report on the future of nursing marks a new dawn for a profession instrumental to the nation’s wellbeing, but constrained by institutional and regulatory bonds that limit its ability to perform to the full measure of its potential. The IOM’s call to unleash the power of nursing is especially welcome at this point in history, as we grapple with how to make good on the promise of affordable, accessible, high-quality health care for all. Advanced practice nurses have proven time and again their competence as autonomous, independent decision makers to deliver safe, effective primary care, anesthesia care, obstetric and gynecological care; to treat mental health disorders; and to stabilize those suffering from chronic diseases and keep them in the best shape possible. They are the backbone of the health care system at every level. We must put aside protectionist rhetoric in the interest of public welfare and give nurses the authority to do what they do best. Taking the IOM recommendations to heart means, among others:

  • Eliminate collaborative agreements and physician oversight of advanced practice nurses.
  • Compensate advanced practice nurses at the same rate as their medical colleagues under Medicare, Medicaid, and private carriers for performing the same work.
  • Make advanced practice nurses full partners in the leadership of medical homes.
  • Lift practice barriers that make it difficult for nurses to get patients the care they need, such as putting nurses on provider panels and giving nurses authority to admit patients to hospitals and hospices.
  • Double the number of nurses with doctorates, raise the educational bar for entry-level nurses, and create a seamless educational ladder.

“As one of the largest nursing schools in the nation, with some 1,000 students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs, we are excited about the prospects for our future graduates and our alumni, who constitute a significant share of Maryland’s nursing workforce. We are committed to using our resources to advance the implementation of the IOM’s recommendations.”

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