Preparing the Nurse of the Future

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When the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report hit the press in 2011, it hit big. We discussed it among our colleagues and students. We created a “read and reflect” assignment in a graduate role acquisition course. We developed quality improvement activities in the undergraduate Leadership and Management course.
In the years following, as we attended state and national meetings, we began to understand the full scope of the actions undertaken to implement the IOM recommendations. We learned that 51 Action Coalitions from across the country were funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP through the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to improve the health of the population, with nursing at the helm.
After attending a meeting at the state level — and learning of the efforts of our wonderful colleagues in Connecticut to prepare nurses for leadership positions in health care, create seamless education models, and educate nurses to more effectively impact population health — we wanted in. Then, as we were considering how we could be part of this collective effort, we received a call from the director of the Connecticut Nursing Collaborative-Action Coalition — they had a job for us to do.
As much as we had learned about the implementation of the IOM report, we still had no idea of the scope of the task that lay before us. Like our colleagues statewide, we began a gap analysis project in collaboration with our community college and clinical partners. But, equally important, we connected with colleagues across the nation in implementing the recommendations of the IOM Future of Nursing report, joining with our state community college system in the work of seamless academic progression.
When we shared our enthusiasm for this work with Nursing Education Perspectives editor Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick, she agreed that showcasing and disseminating the accomplishments of the State Action coalitions in a special edition of the Journal would be an ideal next step in preparing the nurse of the future. In this special edition, you will find reports on the work of a dozen states that sought to implement the recommendations of the IOM according to local needs and conditions: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming. We are so pleased to present the accomplishments of our hard-working colleagues as we gather together to prepare the next generation of nurses to meet the health care needs of the nation.
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