By Julie Cullen, Managing Editor, American Nurse Today
Reshaping healthcare in the United States requires an understanding and focus on the social determinants of health, disease and injury prevention, and a culture of wellness, according to Azita Emami, dean of the University of Washington School of Nursing. Emami addressed what she calls “America’s ailing healthcare,” in a recent opinion piece. She believes that nurses can help fix it.
Already, many nursing schools are expanding their goals, facilities, and curricula to address recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) 2011 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. These schools are expanding to educate more nurses to a higher level of practice. The number of nurses who hold doctoral degrees doubled between 2011 and 2017, so there are now more than 28,000.
To plan for the future, the National Academy of Medicine established the Committee on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030. The committee’s goal is to “extend the vision for the nursing profession into 2030 and to chart a path for the nursing profession to help our nation create a culture of health, reduce health disparities, and improve the health and well-being of the U.S. population in the 21st century.” Those are ambitious goals, but the committee…and the profession…are prepared to take them on to ensure that the U.S. healthcare system is efficient, equitable, accessible, and affordable for everyone.