Texas Take: Assessing Progress on the Institute of Medicine Report The Future of Nursing
Friday, December 4, 2015
Posted by: Nadia Tamez-Robledo
By Cindy Zolnierek, PhD, RN
Texas Nurses Association
We agree with the Committee’s findings that much progress has been made and that much remains to be accomplished. TNA is the proud sponsor of the Texas Team – an Action Coalition of the Campaign for Nursing supported by AARP and RWJF. Texas is fortunate to have made significant progress on a number of fronts.
Education. Through the Academic Progression in Nursing grant (RWJF), Drs. Kathryn Tart and Helen Reid have facilitated pathways for associate degree nursing graduates to seamlessly accomplish their baccalaureate degrees. Their focus on mentorships targeting students from under-represented groups has promoted a more educated and diverse nursing workforce in Texas. The number of nurses prepared with a BSN increased from 45.6% in 2007 to 54.1% in 2015. This work needs to continue.
Nurses prepared with doctoral degrees increased by 38% for nurses with DNPs and 4% for nurses with PhDs. Consistent with the report, Texas will need to emphasize the need for nurses with research doctorates as nurses advance their education.
Data. The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies directed by Pam Lauer within the Department of State Health Services has supported Texas in understanding and planning for an adequate workforce. The Center has conducted regular studies to determine existing and future workforce needs in acute, long-term, public health, and hospice and home care. The Center works closely with and integrates data from the Texas Board of Nursing. A study regarding nursing supply and demand, specific to Texas, will be unveiled this spring.
Barriers to practice. Texas has been less successful in removing barriers to enable advanced practice registered nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and competency. Legislation was passed in 2013 to eliminate a burdensome site-based supervision model, but Texas remains one of the most restrictive states for APRN practice. Removal of barriers is required to optimize the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and quality of care for Texas citizens.
Leadership and collaboration. Texas Team partnered with Texas Health Trustees and others to provide Nurses on Board training to three cohorts of nurses, preparing them for board roles. As suggested by the IOM Committee, expanded efforts are needed to advance interprofessional collaboration and leadership development.
TNA applauds RWJF and AARP for their investment in nursing to advance the nation’s health and will continue our efforts as an association as well as a co-sponsor of Texas Team to meet the 2020 goals.