Institute of Medicine recommends that nurses pursue additional nursing degrees


November 4th, 2010

In a recent report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) – which is called The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health – researchers concluded that today’s nurses may require better training and higher levels of education, including enrollment in additional nursing programs.

Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the two-year, $10 million study was designed to identify ways for the the nursing community to evolve in order to meet the needs of the redesigned healthcare system.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), there are more than 3 million licensed registered nurses, making this field the largest workforce segment in healthcare. The IOM believes that, because so many nurses are currently caring for those in need, further education will only improve patient outcome and safety.

“We will expect 80 percent of the nurses in this country to have bachelor’s degrees within a decade,” said former DHHS head and RWJF initiative’s committee chair, Donna Shalala to HealthLeaders Media.

Shalala recommends that public and private organizations provide resources to help individuals who have already earned associate nursing degrees complete a bachelor’s program within five years of graduation.

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