Future of Nursing

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Nursing career is one of the few fastest growing fields in the health care industry, not only in the United States, but also in the world. Nurse practice has drastically changed in the last decade and as a result the need for changes in nursing practice is becoming more and more important. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) will place many demands on health professionals and offer them many opportunities to create a system that is more patient centered. The legislation has begun the long process of shifting the focus of the U.S. health care system away from acute and specialty care. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression. The education system should provide nurses with the tools needed to evaluate and improve standards of patient care, and the quality and safety of care while preserving fundamental elements of nursing education, such as ethics and integrity and holistic, compassionate approaches to care. The system should ensure nurses’ ability to adapt and be flexible in response to changes in science, technology, and population demographics that shape the delivery of care. An improved education system is necessary to 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. Enactment of the ACA offers a myriad of opportunities for the nursing profession to facilitate improvements to the health care system and the mechanisms by which care is delivered across various settings. System-wide changes are needed that capture the full economic value of nurses and take into account the growing body of evidence that links nursing practice to improvements in the safety and quality of care. The Joint Commission, the leading independent accrediting body for health care organizations, believes that “the future state of nursing...
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