The decade ahead will test the nation’s nearly 4 million nurses in new and complex ways. Nurses live and work at the intersection of health, education, and communities. Nurses work in a wide array of settings and practice at a range of professional levels. They are often the first and most frequent line of contact with people of all backgrounds and experiences seeking care and they represent the largest of the health care professions.
A nation cannot fully thrive until everyone - no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make - can live their healthiest possible life, and helping people live their healthiest life is and has always been the essential role of nurses. Nurses have a critical role to play in achieving the goal of health equity, but they need robust education, supportive work environments, and autonomy. Accordingly, at the request of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on behalf of the National Academy of Medicine, an ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conducted a study aimed at envisioning and charting a path forward for the nursing profession to help reduce inequities in people’s ability to achieve their full health potential. The ultimate goal is the achievement of health equity in the United States built on strengthened nursing capacity and expertise. By leveraging these attributes, nursing will help to create and contribute comprehensively to equitable public health and health care systems that are designed to work for everyone.
The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity explores how nurses can work to reduce health disparities and promote equity, while keeping costs at bay, utilizing technology, and maintaining patient and family-focused care into 2030. This work builds on the foundation set out by The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2011) report.
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