Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility

A newinitiative to study the future of nursing in America and help addressthe growing nursing shortage, was launched Tuesday by the Instituteof Medicine and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

Membersof the new committee will spend the next 10 months meeting withnurses and the public, reviewing different nursing care models, andpiecing together a report they hope will define a comprehensive planof action, including local, state and federal policy changes ifnecessary. The committee should be able to present its report in thefall of 2010, according to RWJF.

Group leaders outlined some of theareas they hope to address:

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

• Expandingnursing faculty, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, andredesigning nursing education to meet current and future health caredemands

• Examiningsolutions in healthcare delivery and health professional education

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

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