Comprehensive redraft of nurse's role sought in government-backed study

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A new initiative to study the future of nursing in America and help address the growing nursing shortage, was launched Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

Members of the new committee will spend the next 10 months meeting with nurses and the public, reviewing different nursing care models, and piecing together a report they hope will define a comprehensive plan of action, including local, state and federal policy changes if necessary. The committee should be able to present its report in the fall of 2010, according to RWJF.

Group leaders outlined some of the areas they hope to address:

• Reconceptualizing the role of nurses in the context of the workforce, the shortage, societal issues, and current and future technology

• Expanding nursing faculty, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, and redesigning nursing education to meet current and future health care demands

• Examining solutions in healthcare delivery and health professional education

• Attracting and retaining well-prepared nurses in multiple care settings, including acute, ambulatory, primary care, long-term care, community, and public health

“For health reform to succeed, and for patients to receive better care at a cost we can afford, we must change the way health care is delivered. And nursing is at the heart of patient care,” said RWJF President and Chief Executive Officer Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.
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