The earliest known recording of a nurse anesthetist occurred in 1887. So, the report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, was not a new concept for anesthesia providers.
The report was a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine. The two-year study focused on the future of nursing with the objective of offering recommendations for the nursing profession.
An appointed committee organized workshops and public forums for discussing key issues. The issues addressed included ways to improve the quality of health care and the ongoing shortage of health care workers.
Four key messages delivered by the committee included the following.
- Services provided by nurses should capitalize on the full extent of their education and training.
- A focus should be placed on an improved education system that promotes higher education and training of nurses.
- Nurses should have an active role with physicians, and other health care professionals for redesigning the delivery of health care in the United States.
- Better data collection and an information infrastructure is needed for effective workforce planning and policy making.
With the primary goal of putting patient safety and quality first, the ongoing shortage of anesthesiologists highlights the need for more qualified anesthesia professionals.