Nurses look to leadership role in healthcare changes
As the healthcare landscape changes, nurses are on the front lines.
South Carolina nurses will discuss the future of their profession March 25 in Columbia at the 2011 Nursing Leadership Summit.
USC College of Nursing Dean Peggy Hewlett, Dr. Michael Bleich, dean of Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, and Dr. Marilyn Schaffner, chief nurse executive at the MUSC hospital, will keynote the conference.
Nurses from around the state will use the conference to determine ways to implement recommendations from an Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The report, published in October, detailed key issues addressing the role of nursing in the healthcare challenges ahead.
The report calls on nurses to achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system, to become full leadership partners with physicians and other professionals in redesigning the country’s healthcare education and delivery systems and to establish an improved data collection and information infrastructure.
“With nurses comprising the largest sector of the healthcare delivery system in this country, the Institute of Medicine report recommends that registered nurses (RNs), from all settings and all educational levels of preparation, need to become actively involved in nursing leadership positions, decisions and policy-making,” Hewlett said. “The profession has historically looked to those RNs holding leadership jobs to take on this role, but the time has come for every nurse to become involved in shaping the emerging healthcare system.”
Hewlett said the IOM Committee on the Future of Nursing set the agenda for the profession on the national level, and now leaders in each state are charged with coming up with their own implementation plans.
“South Carolina nurses are stepping to the plate,” she said “The SC One Voice, One Plan Consortium has been a major player in addressing nursing workforce issues for several years. Taking on the implementation of the IOM recommendations in our state is a natural next step for our constituents. The major difference this time is that we are calling on nurses from every corner of the state to become active in addressing the needs of nursing’s future, which in turn directly impacts the future health of the people we serve.”
The nursing profession plays a vital role in healthcare across the country and in South Carolina. With the implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, nurses have an opportunity to be active participants in the transformation of healthcare education and delivery, Hewlett said.
Conference sponsors include the SC Center for Nursing Leadership, the statewide One Voice One Plan Consortium, the Office of Healthcare Workforce Research for Nursing, and the SC Future of Nursing Taskforce. Nurses and others vested in healthcare issues from across South Carolina will attend, along with invited guests from the state policy groups.