Nov. 3 nursing summit to discuss profession’s future

Nursing leaders from across Iowa will participate in the state’s first Future of Nursing Summit from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3, at Hy-Vee Hall, 730 Third St. (part of the Iowa Events Center) in Des Moines.

The summit is part of a two-year initiative on the future of nursing developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Susan Hassmiller, senior advisor of nursing for RWJF and director for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, will deliver the keynote address at the Iowa summit.

The summit also will feature a work session to develop specific strategies to prepare Iowa’s nursing workforce for future health care demands. Iowa looks to join the more than 30 states that have already become part of state-based collaborations called Action Coalitions which were created to help advance recommendations from the RWJF-funded IOM report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

The report recommends increasing the percentage of nurses in the workforce with a BSN degree or higher to 80 percent by 2020 and doubling the number of nurses with doctorates.

With more than 3 million members, including more than 45,000 in Iowa alone, the nursing profession represents the largest segment of our nation’s health care workforce. Nurses’ roles range from direct patient care and case management to establishing nursing practice standards, developing quality improvement strategies, and directing complex patient care systems.

The IOM’s report is available at www.iom.edu/nursing.