nursing profession unveils strategic plan to ensure safe, quality patient care and address root causes of growing shortage
nursing's agenda for the future calls for broad support from other stakeholders
washington, dc -- as the nation grapples with decreased nurse staffing in many settings today and predictions of an unprecedented shortage of nurses in the next decade, national nursing organizations have united around a shared vision for the future of the profession and developed a strategic plan to address the complex, interrelated factors that have created a growing shortage of nurses. the plan, nursing's agenda for the future, focuses on strategies that will move the profession forward in quantum leaps, thereby ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality nursing care.
"it is clear that the looming shortage of nurses presents a real threat to our nation's health," explained american nurses association president mary e. foley, ms, rn. current projections forecast that the supply of registered nurses will no longer meet the demand for nursing services by 2010. this prediction is based on several factors, including:
*the aging of america's nurses (the average age of employed rns is 43);
*a decline in nursing school enrollments; and
*increased demand for nursing services due to the aging baby boom population's growing need for management of chronic illnesses and conditions.
"this is a comprehensive plan that focuses on addressing the root causes of the nursing shortage," said foley. "the plan reflects the brain trust of nursing and includes strategies to address basic issues, such as recruitment, as well as more complex issues, such as the economic value of nursing. nursing has created this plan for its future and to ensure the future of quality health care." leaders of the steering committee guiding nursing's agenda for the future view successful implementation of the plan as a way to vastly change society's image of nursing and the value it places on the profession's contributions.
nursing's agenda for the future is the result of an in-depth strategic planning process that involved leaders from 60-plus national nursing organizations. the organizations began their work at the call to the nursing profession summit in september 2001 and collectively developed a plan whereby they identified the profession's vision for the year 2010, and the key strategies to be actualized in the short term to achieve that vision. the plan is organized around 10 key domains, including: leadership and planning, economic value, delivery systems/nursing models, work environment, legislation/regulation/policy, public relations/communication, professional/nursing culture, education, recruitment/retention and diversity.
the strategic plan has been widely circulated to nursing organizations and, to date, 49 nursing organizations have submitted more than 200 action plans for the year 2002.
"it is clear to us that the nursing shortage is a national public health problem," said anne manton, phd, rn, faan, co-chair of the nursing organization liaison forum (nolf), a coalition of 74 national nursing organizations. "therefore, the driving issues are many and complex, and it will take the collective commitment and support of society to forge a long-term solution. we put this plan forward as a tool to galvanize other stakeholders to join nursing in its work to strengthen the profession in order to ensure the health and well-being of the nation."
nursing leaders will advance this plan to stakeholders outside of nursing with a call to the nation planned for late 2002 or early 2003. at the call to the nation meeting, groups representing the spectrum of policy-makers, consumers, purchasers and providers of health care will be invited to support the plan to ensure high-quality nursing care.
nursing's agenda for the future is guided by a steering committee of 19 national nursing organizations. the steering committee will guide and monitor the overall work on the initiative. in addition, each organization is serving as a co-champion for one of the domains, ensuring the coordination of and implementation of work plans that support nursing's agenda for the future.
the steering committee includes: american academy of nursing; american association of colleges of nursing; american association of critical-care nurses; american association of nurse anesthetists; american nurses association; american nurses credentialing center; american organization of nurse executives; american psychiatric nurses association; association of perioperative registered nurses; association of women's health, obstetric and neonatal nurses; emergency nurses association; infusion nurses society; national black nurses association; national council of state boards of nursing; national league for nursing; national student nurses' association, inc.; nursing organization liaison forum; oncology nursing society; and sigma theta tau international, honor society of nursing.
nursing's agenda for the future is available at www.nursingworld.org/naf.
reporters who wish to request a printed copy of the publication may call 202-651-7028.