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The Generation Gap and the Future of Nursing

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The future of nursing refers to the concept of examining and enabling the roles and responsibilities nurses in the current century to blend with the ever changing health care system. Also, it involves assessing how the nursing profession education should undergo reforms to meet the dynamic health care systems as well as the diverse population demographics (American Nurses Association (ANA), 2016). The Institute of Medicine (IOM) was tasked with identifying the necessary changes to make in nursing to achieve these aspects. The IOM, therefore, came up with several recommendations for changing the future of nursing and filling the existing previous and future generation gaps.

According to ANA (2016), the IOM developed a strategy to transform the profession of nursing via reporting several recommendations and action-oriented frameworks, which would help in changing the future of nursing. The report by IOM serves a huge purpose in urging the nurses to take up leadership roles in all health care delivery systems to meet the health needs of the country. The nursing of the future since 2008, will see great changes including development of strong cultural sensitivity, cultural competency and collaborative skills among the nurses. These changes bridge the gaps that were seen to impede the achievement of quality healthcare services that meet population diversity.

One of the important recommendations in the IOM report on the future of nursing involves improving the nursing learning and training via non-restrictive and advanced education systems. New curriculums that incorporate the emerging concepts in healthcare have been developed as a result and these include cultural competency, cultural sensitivity and inter-professional collaboration among many others (Halstead, 2012).  Additionally, Halstead (2012) indicates that the developed curriculums promote values of diversity, excellence, caring and integrity in the nursing profession. Also, it encourages teamwork, which is an aspect of collaboration to efficiently deliver quality health services.

The current education systems for nurses provide them with cultural competence and cultural sensitivity, which are vital aspects in the diverse population of the U.S. according to Reyes, Hadley, & Davenport (2013), the several cultures in the U.S require a work force that understands, respect the dignity and rights of every patient irrespective of origin. Hence, the IOM recommendation to improve future of nursing has allowed the nurses to efficiently interact with people of various origins regarding provision of quality health services. The expanded curriculums as recommended by IOM have moved from clinical-based teaching and introduced new programs that allow nurses to acquire additional skills that meet the demands of the increasing cultural diversity of the U.S. population. Hence, to bridge the gap of health disparities in the current diverse cultures, there is need for developing curriculums that incorporate culture-based learning among the nurses.

According to Adeniran (2013), the IOM recommendation to advance education among the nurses has allowed them to acquire leadership skills, which allow for inter-professional collaboration in development of health policies. Additionally, with advanced education, the nurses now have the ability to collaborate with other health professionals in research activities aimed at providing new solutions to issues affecting health of the country. Also, currently nurses participate in leadership activities and have contributed in developing sustainable health care systems for the country.

Therefore, the IOM recommendations for the future of nursing allow development of a highly effective nursing profession in the U.S. healthcare system. It provides a base for producing culturally competent and culturally sensitive nurses who can deliver healthcare services to the culturally diverse population. Also, the advanced education systems for the nurses have provided them with abilities to participate in health policy making. All these have helped and will help to fill the gap that exists in various generations regarding healthcare.

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