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Advanced Nursing Degrees and the IOM Recommendations

1st recommendation from the IOM report: Remove scope-of-practice barriers

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report with eight recommendations to improve the future of nursing. Five years after the report, things are shaping up, due in large part to online nursing degree programs.

The first recommendation from the IOM report is to “Remove scope-of-practice barriers.” Simply put, this means enabling nurses with advanced degrees to practice to the full extent their education allows and giving them privileges that are within their scope of practice previously reserved for physicians. The second recommendation is to “Expand opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative effort.” This encourages nursing education programs and healthcare systems to expand opportunities for nurses to collaborate with physicians as equals, lead research projects and help improve healthcare environments. Another recommendation is to prepare nurses to be change agents to improve health and health systems. The sixth recommendation is to make sure that nurses continue to learn throughout their careers.

The University of Texas at Arlington’s CCNE-accredited MS in Nursing (MSN) — available online — can help you be a part of those recommendations while improving your income potential and job possibilities.

MSN Family Nursing Practitioner Program

UT Arlington’s MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program prepares nurses to meet and exceed the challenges set forth by the IOM report. As a nurse practitioner (NP), you will be academically prepared to manage acute and chronic illnesses which includes ordering lab tests, prescribing medication, and educating patients about their diseases and treatment options.

Unfortunately, however, nurse practitioners lack some of the privileges reserved for MDs. The first IOM recommendation calls for Medicare and Medicaid reform that would allow NPs to perform admission assessments for their patients for home health services, hospice and nursing facilities. Another Medicare reform the IOM suggests is covering services performed by an NP in the same manner as a physician’s services but at a lower rate. These reforms will lower healthcare costs and improve patient access and outcomes.

The MSN FNP online degree program at UT Arlington offers the knowledge you need to perform these duties and more. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT Arlington’s MS in nursing program among the top 25 in the country. While the program is based in Arlington, TX, its offerings are fully online, and you can complete your clinicals in your area with an approved preceptor. As a nurse practitioner, you will have more responsibility and greater job opportunities in a wide range of settings — not to mention increased earning potential.

MSN in Nursing Administration

The MSN in Nursing Administration program at UT Arlington prepares you to be a leader in healthcare and offers you a wide range of career choices. The second recommendation from the IOM’s 2010 report suggests “[Expanding] opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative efforts.” This recommendation calls for Medicare and Medicaid to establish payment and evaluation models that expand the scope of nurses in leadership roles. The recommendation also encourages healthcare organizations to support nurses who develop innovative patient-care models and promotes their work with companies to develop new medical devices and IT products. Nurse administrators would have an expanded role in evaluating and implementing these new technologies. They would also train nurses and others to use these new systems.

The UT Arlington MSN in Nursing Administration provides comprehensive curriculum and clinical training under veteran nurse leaders. As a healthcare leader in training, you will learn to manage staff, create and evaluate health policy and procedures, and make financial decisions. In 2016, UTA was named a “Tier One” school by the Carnegie Foundation, meaning the education you receive is the highest quality available. With your MSN in Nursing Administration, you can play your part in meeting the challenges set forth in the IOM’s report and improve the future of nursing.

MSN in Nursing Education

The sixth recommendation in the IOM’s report recommends “[Ensuring] that nurses engage in lifelong learning,” and the MSN in Nursing Education — another online nursing degree program at UT Arlington — encourages nursing students to do just that. For the future of nursing to continue improving, nurses must continue to learn at every stage of their careers.

The MS in Nursing Education builds a solid foundation for nurse educators to prepare nurses of the future and instill in them an appreciation for lifelong learning. This helps tomorrow’s nurses understand that life-long learning is crucial to both the advancement of healthcare and their own careers.

The MSN in Nursing program at UT Arlington also prepares its students for the Certified Nurse Educator Exam (CNE) — the national certification for nurse educators. Students in this program learn to teach using “real life” simulations — for example, students get a chance to deliver a robotic baby. Some of the other active teaching strategies include brainstorming, teamwork and modeling new procedures. Not only can this path lead to careers as university faculty, it can also lead to positions in hospitals including clinical nurse educator, director of education and continuing education specialist.

The seventh recommendation, and possibly the most important, is as follows: “Prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health.” All of the online nursing degree programs at UT Arlington prepare students for the future of nursing. Completely online, these programs offer students the freedom to continue working and meet personal and professional obligations while they study.

Learn more about the UT Arlington online MSN programs.


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