those for nursing, medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, to develop and promulgate a standardized minimum data set across states and professions that can be used to assess health care workforce needs by demographics, numbers, skill mix, and geographic distribution.
The Workforce Commission and the Health Resources and Services Administration should set standards for the collection of the minimum data set by state licensing boards; oversee, coordinate, and house the data; and make the data publicly accessible.
The Workforce Commission and the Health Resources and Services Administration should retain, but bolster, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s registered nurse sample survey by increasing the sample size, fielding the survey every other year, expanding the data collected on advanced practice registered nurses, and releasing survey results more quickly.
The Workforce Commission and the Health Resources and Services Administration should establish a monitoring system that uses the most current analytic approaches and data from the minimum data set to systematically measure and project nursing workforce requirements by role, skill mix, region, and demographics.
The Workforce Commission and the Health Resources and Services Administration should coordinate workforce research efforts with the Department of Labor, state and regional educators, employers, and state nursing workforce centers to identify regional health care workforce needs, and establish regional targets and plans for appropriately increasing the supply of health professionals.
The Government Accountability Office should ensure that the Workforce Commission membership includes adequate nursing expertise.
Nurses are already committed to delivering high-quality care under current regulatory, business, and organizational conditions. But the power to change those conditions to deliver better care does not rest primarily with nurses, regardless of how ably led or educated they are; it also lies with governments, businesses, health care institutions, professional organizations and other health professionals, and the insurance industry. The recommendations presented in this report are directed to individual policy makers; national, state, and local government leaders; payers; health care researchers; executives; and professionals—including nurses and others—as well as to larger groups such as licensing bodies, educational institutions, and philanthropic and advocacy organizations, especially those advocating for consumers. Together, these groups have the power to transform the health care system to provide seamless, affordable, quality care that is accessible to all, patient centered, and evidence based and leads to improved health outcomes.