On Nursing: Heather M. Young | UC Davis leads statewide 'Future of Nursing’ initiative
"I invite you to join in this exciting opportunity that we have to unleash the power and passion
Momentum continues to build for vast changes in the education of health-care professionals, specifically in the nursing profession, and the timing of the launch of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing aligns well with several unprecedented developments in health care.
A recent Institute of Medicine report on the "Future of Nursing," health-care reform, the state of the economy, and the dramatic changes in the demography of California all coincide to provide a perfect opportunity for UC Davis Health System to lead and make a difference.
The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and UC Davis Health System are actively engaged in implementing recommendations of the recent IOM report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health." This report outlines a series of strategies to improve our health-care system and advance health for our population through nursing, a goal that is highly consistent with the vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Members of our team are taking leadership roles in the California Regional Action Coalition, one of five statewide coalitions to pilot implementation of the report’s recommendations. Already, UC Davis Health System convened a lively discussion on our campus, with more than 150 engaged stakeholders attending in person and another 300 joining the conversation via web conference.
The IOM report has stimulated a great deal of productive conversation in our school, and there are several areas that we have identified as core to our education, service and education missions.
- We can and should make contributions to the actualization of the recommendations that address education. We must educate nurses for the future – our graduates need to deal with nursing practice as it is now, but more importantly, they need to be equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to move nursing practice to the future. UC Davis will contribute to the goal of increasing the number of nurses with doctorates. Across all the University of California campuses, we confer approximately 30 Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degrees each year. This capacity will grow substantially as the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing achieves full enrollment. One of the most important limiting factors in developing an adequate nursing work force is lack of faculty to teach. We must continue to recruit and prepare doctoral and master’s degree graduates who can take on academic roles and tackle the economic disincentives to doing so.
- As we educate nurses and advanced practice nurses, particularly as we teach them to innovate and develop new models to serve the population, it is essential that we address issues that get in the way of nurses practicing to the full extent of their education. As educators, we can inspire a vision for where nursing can grow and equip students with the confidence and skill to support their imagination as they fully realize their roles in society.
- UC faculty are a core leadership resource for the California coalition. As a collective, we have enormous strength and expertise. Now is the time to focus and apply that leadership, practice expertise, commitment to and understanding of how to promote population health, expertise in translating research into policy, and influence in policy arenas, as well as developing leaders through our education.
- UC is home to many talented researchers, many of whom work with data that are relevant to the metrics for success of implementation of the IOM report recommendations. These data include workforce projections, health status, and quality and system indicators. It is not simply a calculation of how many retirees we are expecting, it is deeper and more complex – understanding what our population needs in light of health trends and system redesign.
- Finally, and I will argue, most importantly, our students are our future. They are learning at this amazing time in history. Their engagement is essential to shape the future that they will enact. We will engage our students in meaningful ways in developing the solutions our society requires. We can use this opportunity to call them to leadership and we can support their growth and development toward the future we all prefer.
I invite you to join in this exciting opportunity that we have to unleash the power and passion of nursing. You can learn more about the Initiative for the Future of Nursing by visiting the school’s website.