The American Academy of Nursing strongly supported efforts to reform health care, recognizing the potential to expand access to cost-effective, high-quality care and to help shift the U.S. health system toward a greater emphasis on primary and preventive care. Saluting the Congress in their passage of comprehensive health reform legislation, the Academy noted the hard work of actually bringing the reform's benefits to consumers. Health care innovation designed and implemented by nurses should be integral to that effort.
The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided a crucial opportunity to bring reform to health care in this country. The Academy prepared the document "Implementing Health Care Reform: Issues for Nursing" to offer recommendations that can help to improve access to affordable, quality, safe, equitable care that promotes the health of individuals, families, and communities. The recommendations include those that address: Advancing Access to Care Through Full Utilization of APRNs; Nursing and Health Care Workforce; Developing and Implementing Innovative Models of Care; Quality of Care Initiatives; Expanding Nurse Managed Health Clinics and FQHCs; Improving Non-Hospital Care for Seniors; and, New Federal Commission and Advisory Bodies.
The Academy embraced the Robert Wood Johnson landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The action-oriented blueprint for improving health care calls for the remodeling of a health care system to ensure high-quality, patient-centered care though the leadership of nurses. The report acknowledges that to achieve significant improvements to local, state and national health policy, the largest segment of the health care workforce -- nurses -- need to be fully engaged with other health professions. As a professional partner, providing valuable insights and experiences, the Academy applauds the IOM's focus on evidence-based research and collaboration.