livering high-quality care while working collaboratively with leaders from other health professions.

Being a full partner transcends all levels of the nursing profession and requires leadership skills and competencies that must be applied within the profession and in collaboration with other health professionals. In care environments, being a full partner involves taking responsibility for identifying problems and areas of waste, devising and implementing a plan for improvement, tracking improvement over time, and making necessary adjustments to realize established goals. Moreover, being a full partner translates more broadly to the health policy arena. To be effective in reconceptualized roles, nurses must see policy as something they can shape rather than something that happens to them. Nurses should have a voice in health policy decision making and be engaged in implementation efforts related to health care reform. Nurses also should serve actively on advisory committees, commissions, and boards where policy decisions are made to advance health systems to improve patient care.

Strong leadership on the part of nurses, physicians, and others will be required to devise and implement the changes necessary to increase quality, access, and value and deliver patient-centered care. While not all nurses begin their career with thoughts of becoming a leader, leadership is fundamental to advancing the profession. To ensure that nurses are ready to assume leadership roles, leadership-related competencies need to be embedded throughout nursing education, leadership development and mentoring programs need to be made available for nurses at all levels, and a culture that promotes and values leadership needs to be fostered. Equally important, all nurses—from students, to bedside and community nurses, to chief nursing officers and members of nursing organizations, to researchers—must take responsibility for their personal and professional growth by developing leadership competencies. They must exercise these competencies in a collaborative environment in all settings, including hospitals, communities, schools, boards, and political and business arenas, both within nursing and across the health professions. And in doing so, they must not only mentor others along the way, but develop partnerships and gain allies both within and beyond the health care environment.

Key Message #4:
Effective Workforce Planning and Policy Making Require Better Data Collection and an Improved Information Infrastructure (Chapter 6)

Achieving a transformation of the health care system and the practice environment will require a balance of skills and perspectives among physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. However, strategic health care workforce planning to achieve this balance is hampered by the lack of sufficiently reliable and granular data on, for example, the numbers and types of health professionals currently employed, where they are employed and in what roles, and what types of activities they perform. These data are required to determine regional health



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