Unleashing the Potential of Nursing
By: American Nurses Association
While there are many opportunities for nurses to meet the needs of vulnerable populations, incorporate the social determinants of health, and speed the pace of health care transformation, nurses face barriers accessing the knowledge, tools, and the environments needed to deliver exemplary care.
The American Nurses Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing (RN) Initiative will contribute to breaking down these barriers by investing in opportunities for transformative change that lie at the intersection of education, regulation, and practice. The RN Initiative will grant $15 million to up to 11 innovative pilot programs that pilot bold ideas in three priority areas: Practice-Ready Nurse Graduates, Technology-Enabled Nursing Practice, and Direct-Reimbursement Nursing Models. Pilots will be announced in March 2022. Those ideas that succeed will then be brought to scale, disrupting – for the better – long-standing practices that leave nurses under-developed, under-utilized, and under-appreciated.
Transforming Nursing Education
New nurse graduates face a mismatch between educational requirements and job requirements in today’s rapidly evolving health care environment. Current educational programs often focus on imparting knowledge, rather than demonstrating competencies nurses will need to be successful in their future practice, including practice outside of an acute care setting, addressing the social determinants of health, and providing person-centered care. Nursing students also face barriers gaining practical, clinical experience. Clinical placements for students are predominantly in acute care settings and there are restrictions on what students can do in these placements. The discrepancies between education and practice contributes to almost one in five new registered nurses leaving their first job within a year, escalating recruitment and replacement costs. The RN Initiative will fund pilots that test innovations in competency validation and clinical preceptorship that ensure newly graduated nurses can immediately contribute to and succeed in a continuously transforming health delivery system.
Supporting Technology-Enabled Nursing Practice
Nurses are underutilized and technologies have frequently not kept pace with the pace of change. While nurses are highly qualified and trained to provide exemplary patient care, nurses often must focus on task-oriented activities, as opposed to holistic and solutions-based care of their patients. As more and more non-nursing tasks and routine functions of nursing are automated or augmented, nurses can focus more of their expertise on providing whole-person care. Existing technologies are often created without the nursing workflow in mind, which can create inefficiencies. The RN Initiative will support the design and implementation of technology-based tactics and tools designed by and for nurses, including artificial intelligence, robotization, automation, design-making support, remote patient monitoring, and/or telehealth, that meaningfully enhance the practice of nursing.
Reimagining the Value of Nursing Care
The lack of payment for nursing care and coordination continues to hide and devalue the contribution of nurses to patient outcomes. In hospitals, nursing costs are bundled into the costs of patients’ rooms and board and more generally, nurses’ roles providing care coordination or care management is typically not reimbursed. Even the care provided by nurse practitioners is often unseen as many services are billed under a physician’s national provider identifier, rather than their own, because higher rates are available under federal policy. Since nurses often do not receive direct payment for the services they provide, nursing is often not a priority for investment. It is also challenging to measure and create accountability for nurses’ impacts on patient outcomes. The RN Initiative will fund pilots that expand nursing practice and elevate the value of nursing through direct reimbursement for nursing care delivery, management, and coordination outcomes.
As the largest and most trusted contingent of health care professionals, nurses are central to creating a health care system that provides high-quality, accessible, and equitable care to all Americans. The RN Initiative will ultimately unleash the potential of a diverse, dynamic nursing workforce to propel society into a healthier future. To join the conversation around accelerating transformation in nursing, please visit the website or contact Foundation staff at [email protected].