Professional Development of Nursing Professionals

Professional Development of Nursing ProfessionalsGrand Canyon University: NUR-430V

Professional Development of Nursing Professionals

Patient needs have always been a primary focus in the nursing profession. Through the development of the 2010 Institute of Medicine’s report: “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” patient need recommendations are examined as well as the actions of the nurse. The IOM report revolves around 4 important key messages in determination to improve population health across the U.S. As reported by the IOM, nurses will achieve these 4 key messages by continuing nursing education, improving nursing leadership role evolution through professional development, and successfully managing patient care in an evolving health care system.

Four Key Messages Summarization

Key message 1: “Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training” (IOM, 2010, pg. 29.)

Nurses have a huge reputation to provide the best and safest patient care possible. However, do nurses always live up to that reputation? There are many federal and state laws that each nurse must abide by in order to stay license. For instance, Nurse Practice Act, states the proper regulations for program accreditation, scope of practice, licensure requirements, nursing skills, and safety precautions. The IOM report states that most nurses are seen to take the role of an acute care nurse, or other nursing roles in the hospital. However, care in the future is going to head more towards the community setting and less of a hospital setting (IOM, 2010, pg. 29).

Key message 2: “Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression” (IOM, 2010, pg. 30).

With major changes coming into the health care field, nurses need to further their education. There is a need to improve education primarily for the nursing field. This will “ensure that the current and future generations of nurses can deliver safe, quality, patient-centered care across all settings, especially in such areas as primary care and community and public health” (IOM, 2010, pg. 30). On another note, nurses are not educated alongside pharmacist, advanced practice nurses, or physicians, but are expected to have seamless patient care with one another. By implementing a more strategic education system with integration of different health categories, patient care could become more consistent and safer.

Key message 3: “Nurses should be full partners with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States” (IOM, 2010, pg. 32).

Not every nurse wants to take on a “leader” role. However, as the profession changes “strong leadership will be required to transform the U.S. health care system” (IOM, 2010, pg. 32). By being a full partner of the healthcare field, whether that be in education, administrative positions, or a nurse, redesign of the healthcare falls in the hands of all positions. However, the IOM report shows barriers that prevent nurses from serving as full partners. Some examples include, laws and regulations, professional resistance and bias, a lack of professional competence, and exclusion from decision-making bodies and boards (IOM, 2010, pg. 33).

Key message 4: “Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure” (IOM, 2010, pg. 33).

According to the IOM report, the health care industry needs to have an organized method of collecting data among healthcare professionals across the U.S. Data such as place of practice, roles, and duties can help the field improve health care needs and see where it lacks.

Education and Leadership Influences

There is no one answer to a patient, science, or technology. The IOM report states, “Nursing curricula need to be reexamined, updates, and adaptive enough to change with patients’ changing needs and improvements in science and technology” (IOM, 2010, pgs. 30-33). There are now higher standards for education and competency levels for present and future nurses. IOM states the need for BSN nurses in order to move smoothly from tasked based to higher-level critical thinking skills. BSN acquired nurses are more likely to earn a job in leadership and be payed a higher compensatory rate as well.

Nurse Role and Education Evolution

Nursing has moved from the ADN route to the more prepared BSN nurse. This is due to the foundation a BSN degree partakes in and lifelong learning. EBP has evolved and turned nursing research and technology into new educational opportunities. The IOM highly recommends that current and future nurses continue education in order to develop proper critical thinking and nursing skills for the ever-changing patient population.

Lifelong Learning Significance

One knows when becoming a nurse that learning is lifelong due to demands of a diverse patient population. Nursing has become a whole new spectrum of learning; nursing is no longer black and white. Advance medical practices have developed throughout the years and encompasses many specialties such as, family medicine, pediatrics, neonatal, and geriatrics. Nurses could not apply each treatment for each patient, even if the illness/disease is the same. By adapting to patient culture, needs, and complexities nurses can obtain knowledge by lifelong learning. The IOM report emphasizes that “creating an expectation and culture of lifelong learning for nurses is therefore essential” (IOM, 2010, pgs. 6-7).

Patient Care Management


Inevitably, the healthcare field will continue to grow in complexity and nurse education and management will revolutionize. Nurses are advocates and communicators for patients. Nurses must stay in compliance with patients in order to guide them through the health care system smoothly and responsibly. By having an underlying understanding and sense of leadership, nursing could step up to a higher level of patient care.


The IOM report laid a new foundation in the aspect of nursing. After the results of the IOM were presented, the demand for higher education and patient care in the nursing field grew and nursing evolved greatly. Nurses are urged to become lifelong learners and step up as the leader and grow on patients demands and needs.


Institute of Medicine; Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative. (2010, October 5). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Retrieved February 10, 2020, from