The Findings are Here; It’s Time to Act
Reported by Janet D'Alesandro, AAACN Communications Director
For America to achieve health equity for all, the systems that educate, pay, employ, and enable nurses need to permanently remove practice barriers, value nurses’ contributions, prepare them to understand and tackle the social factors that affect health, and diversify the workforce, according to The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity report, released recently by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
The report describes how we can unleash the power of the nurse to achieve health equity for all. AAACN has been – and will continue to be – a part of this process, as will ambulatory care nurses.
As a highly trusted segment of the health workforce, nurses play a pivotal role in ensuring that we all have what we need to stay healthy and well. And, while the COVID-19 pandemic did not create health inequities, it made clear that much of what affects our health happens outside of a hospital.
AAACN leaders are urging members, nurses, and all health care providers to read the report and support this national initiative by sharing the knowledge and information with your colleagues, employers, patients, and communities.
AAACN President Weighs In on the Future, and Your Role
AAACN’s new President Kathleen Martinez, MSN, RN, CP, writes about the Future of Nursing in her upcoming July/August ViewPoint President’s Message.
[See Welcoming AAACN’s New President, Kathleen Martinez in Inspiring Leaders. ]
“We applaud the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 authors for recognizing that ‘Nurses are bridge builders and collaborators who engage and connect with people, communities, and organizations to promote health and well-being’ (NAM, 2021b, p. 3),” Martinez writes. “Nurses in ambulatory care consider access to and quality of health care, but also evaluate the influence of other social determinants of health (SDOH), economic stability, neighborhood environment, social context, and access to quality education.
The promotion of health and prevention of disease occurs over a lifetime, not in a single episode of care. Ambulatory care nurses meet people where life is lived; in schools, community centers, clinics, in their homes. Ambulatory care nurses walk alongside individuals through a season or a lifetime as mentors, peers, and teachers.”
According to the experts who produced the Future of Nursing report, the next 10 years will test the nation’s nearly 4 million nurses in new and complex ways.
Ambulatory care nurses have a tremendous impact on the health and education sectors of our society and many of you work directly with communities. In many settings, ambulatory care nurses are often the first and most frequent health care providers, interacting with people of all backgrounds and experiences seeking care. Therefore, it’s up to you to advocate for those most in need.
“When the report was being developed, AAACN was one of the national associations invited to the Future of Nursing Town Halls, where our leaders represented the voice of ambulatory care nurses,” Martinez said. “In addition, we provided key documents to help inform the committee of what we felt were the most critical issues and possible solutions for the next decade in health care.”
In her President’s Message, Martinez details how the crucial role of Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCTM) is emphasized in the Future of Nursing report, and is one important solution to America’s disjointed health care system.
Along with CCTM, she also emphasizes AAACN’s important work in such other areas as Academic-Practice Partnerships and Telephone Triage, and how both are detailed in the Future of Nursing report as essential elements of better health care for the future.
“In many ways, this report is ‘Back to the Future,’ supporting and endorsing the principles that AAACN has promoted for more than 40 years,” Martinez writes. “For all of us who have dedicated our professional lives to this specialty, it is gratifying to know that our unwavering focus on the importance of high-quality, accessible, and culturally relevant care has always been ‘The Future of Nursing.’”
*Citation: Martinez, K. (2021). The future of nursing is now! ViewPoint, In Press. American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing: Pitman, NJ.