By Shawn Kennedy, interim editor-in-chief  

by wfyurasko/via Flickr

I’m writing this on the train to Washington, DC, heading to the National Summit on Advancing Health through Nursing, which is taking place November 30 and December 1. This is the next step of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Initiative on the Future of Nursing (see my October 8 blog post) and will launch the Campaign for Action—the plan for implementing the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s report, The Future of Nursing. (You’ll be able to access the webcast and a live chat of webcast users on November 30 here.)

If you haven’t read anything about this initiative, do so. If you’re a nurse and plan to be working for the next 10 years, the recommendations from this report, if implemented, will affect you in some way. Expect to see changes in the following areas, to name just a few:

  • how and where nurses practice
  • undergraduate and graduate curricula
  • licensing and certification criteria
  • reimbursement policies

Other nursing initiatives have come and gone, some more successful in achieving their goals than others. AJN will cover the progress of this initiative as it attempts to evolve from a written report to an active process that creates sustainable change. As a start, in the December issue, now available at, AJN brings you a guest editorial by Susan Hassmiller, director of the Initiative on the Future of Nursing. There’s also a summary and analysis of the report in AJN Reports, and a podcast interview with Marla Weston, CEO of the American Nurses Association, discussing the recommendations. And I’ll be posting updates here on the blog.

The weight of the IOM, the Affordable Care Act mandating health reform, the aging of America, and the numbers of Americans living with chronic diseases—all have come together to create the “perfect storm” for significant change. This is perhaps the best opportunity nursing will have in our lifetime to become a decision maker in shaping health care delivery in this country. Here’s hoping . . .

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