• Education. The current nursing education model is not adequate to meet the needs of the future. Education must develop new partnerships with the community, business and healthcare institutions. More emphasis and resources must be directed to preparing master’s- and PhD-level nurses.

  • Public Policy. Solid funding sources are needed to support nurse practitioners, nurse managed community health programs and nursing education. Funding must cross settings from acute care to home and community based care. Nurses must be included on local, state, and national health care advisory and policy committees.

  • Care Models. We must continue to develop innovative care models based on current successes such as the acute care agile self-directed nursing teams, the rural healthy aging community model and school-based and community-based nurse managed clinics. These models should cross disciplines, foster collaboration and partner with communities, business and other organizations.

The future of health care rests solidly with the strength nursing brings in holistic care, ability to collaborate and innovate from the bedside to the community and the ability to adapt to the changing environment. In order to make this happen nursing must adapt education and curriculum to the new century, promote higher education, advocate for innovative models of care and advocate for the health care and education policy to support those innovations.


Buerhaus, P.I. 2008. Current and future state of the U.S. nursing workforce. Journal of the American Medical Association 300(20):2422–2424

Hodes Aging Workforce Study. 2009. http://www.hodes.com/industries/healthcare/resources/research/agingworkforce.asp (accessed January 10, 2010).

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