An Evaluative Approach to Strengthening the Nursing Workforce

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Work focused on assisting nurse leaders in Montana to implement the recommendations of the landmark IOM “Future of Nursing” report. Two of the seven IOM goals were the focus of this research: first that nurses be equipped to lead change and second, that barriers to full scope of practice for nursing professionals be removed. A literature survey of the years 2002 to 2012 was performed on CINAHL, PubMed, and MedLine databases with the search terms “nursing,” “leadership,” and “barrier.” The goal was to assess current impediments to nurses performing and thriving in leadership roles both on and off unit floors. Additionally, a survey was distributed to the directors of nursing in Montana asking for greatest concerns pertaining to nurses transitioning into their facilities. Initial results from both surveys indicate that nurses need more training in skills such as time management, prioritizing, delegation, and organization before they can begin to advance leadership matters. Allowing full scope of practice for nurses requires reform in national and local law and change in the mindset about nursing. Both the literature review and the survey indicated that managerial and legal obstacles must be removed before clear vision for nursing change can be implemented and effected.


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