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Future of Nursing 2020–2030: Charting a Path To Achieve Health Equity

The Future of Nursing: 2020-2030

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has made major contributions to the development of the nursing profession. Over the years, the institution has proposed ideas that have improved nursing practice, education, and leadership. Recently, the NASEM committee released a report addressing nurses’ role in improving health equity. This essay aims to assess the NASEM report and discuss the work performed by the NASEM committee that led to the development of the report, the trends in nursing and evolving nursing roles, the roles played by state-based action coalitions in implementing the report, nursing initiatives that address health equity, and challenges limiting the advancement of nursing. The NASEM report prepares nurses to take action in addressing systemic racism in schools, organizations, and associations since it provides recommendations for promoting diversity and inclusion in nursing practice.

The Work of the NASEM Committee

The NASEM committee proposed and developed the future of nursing 2020-2030 report. Before developing the report, the committee conducted studies investigating the relationship between social determinants of health (SDOH) and health (NASEM, 2021). The studies revealed that SDOH was the cause of health inequity in the nation. Therefore, they developed the NASEM report to aid nurses to solve social factors affecting health. The committee also conducted site investigations to assess the readiness of the nursing faculty to address health disparities in the nation. They discovered that the nursing workforce was not prepared for the future; hence, they established the report to prepare nurses to care for diverse populations. In addition, the committee organized meetings with healthcare stakeholders and the public to discuss nursing-related issues (NASEM, 2021). These initiatives enabled the committee to identify areas that need to be improved in nursing to promote health equality.

Trends in the Nursing Workforce and the Roles of Nurses

Nurses are the dominant healthcare providers in the country. They provide treatment and preventive care in healthcare settings, communities, and other diverse settings. As healthcare evolves, the nursing workforce also changes to meet the health needs of populations. A major trend in nursing is the increased demand for nurses to address population health needs (Ljungbeck & Sjögren Forss, 2017). Healthcare needs are increasing over time because of the growing population of aged adults requiring a lot of care. For healthcare systems to meet the healthcare demands of the population, they need enough nurses. As a result, there is a need to expand the nursing workforce to increase access to quality care services. Nursing education systems are admitting more students to pursue nursing courses to increase the nursing workforce (Ljungbeck & Sjögren Forss, 2017). Another trending issue in the nursing workforce is diversity and inclusion (Whitney, 018). There were few minority groups in the nursing workforce in the past years. Also, some communities were not represented in the nursing workforce. The current nursing workforce is diverse, with nurses from all ethnic and racial communities. Increased diversity in the nursing workforce enables nurses to provide culturally complete healthcare services to people (Goode & Landefeld, 2018). Nursing education equips nurses with the skills to engage with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. It also trains nurses to incorporate cultural beliefs in care plans to improve patient satisfaction.

Nurses are change leaders in healthcare settings, communities, associations, and organizations. They lead changes in healthcare systems by advocating for policies to improve patient care and the nursing profession (Hassmiller, 2021). Nurses also engage in decision-making. They propose and implement ideas to improve the performance of the healthcare system. Furthermore, nurses engage in leadership by improving health equity (Murray, 2019). They serve all populations regardless of ethnicity or race to ensure everyone has access to care. They also promote policies that address racism and discrimination. The other role of nurses is to represent patients and nurses in panels and political offices to address their needs and call for action. They also address systemic barriers in communities to improve the health of populations.

State-based Action Coalitions

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation formed action coalitions to drive changes locally by working through nursing. They work with communities, organizations, and healthcare stakeholders to improve nursing practice and healthcare delivery in their respective states. Action coalitions promote health equity in communities. They ensure all communities have access to quality medical care (Campaign for Action, n.d. ). Action coalitions also promote diversity in nursing. They include nurses from minority communities in the nursing workforce. They also increase awareness of nursing courses to convince people from marginalized communities to study nursing. Moreover, action coalitions address systemic racism in healthcare institutions to improve health equity.

New York State Action Coalitions (NYSAC)

NYSAC is working to improve health equity in the state to build healthy communities in New York. First, the coalition has initiated projects to transform nursing education (Centers for Nursing at the Foundation of NYS Nurses, 2022). The best way to improve healthcare delivery is by empowering the nursing workforce by advancing nursing education. NYSAC has provided opportunities for nurses to pursue Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in nursing to prepare nurses to provide care to diverse and aging populations. Nurses with high levels of education provide quality care and understand patients’ needs because they are more knowledgeable and skilled. The coalition also fosters interprofessional collaborations in the healthcare system to provide nurses opportunities to engage in leadership (Centers for Nursing at the Foundation of NYS Nurses, 2022). Nurse leaders work with physicians and other healthcare stakeholders to introduce innovations in the healthcare system. As a result, nurses in NY engage in leadership for change to improve community health equity. They also implement changes to improve healthcare delivery in the nation.

Barriers to Advancement in Nursing

Nursing is yet to advance because of systemic racism in healthcare institutions. Some organizations do not hire nurses who belong to minority racial groups because of their race (Center for New York City Affairs, 2020). Also, minority students lack educational opportunities in nursing because of racism. Due to this, the nursing workforce in NY is not diverse. This makes it challenging for the nursing workforce to meet the healthcare needs of all communities. The NYSAC is addressing this issue by providing nurses with equal education and employment opportunities. The other issue limiting advancement in nursing is a shortage of nursing faculties (Centers for Nursing at the Foundation of NYS Nurses, 2022). Even though many people are willing to pursue nursing courses, there are few nursing faculties to accommodate all nursing students. On that account, the coalition has not managed to expand the nursing workforce. The coalition is solving this issue by establishing more nursing schools to enable many students to study nursing. In addition, the coalition is hiring nurse educators from other states to train nursing students. Nursing practice will improve in the state if these barriers are solved.


In summary, the NASEM report aims to promote equality in healthcare through nursing. The report has provided relevant information that nurses need to understand nursing trends and provide care to all populations. It has also discussed the roles nurses need to perform to lead changes in the healthcare system. State action coalitions should ensure all the recommendations specified in the report are implemented to achieve health equity and improve patient outcomes.


Centers for Nursing at the Foundation of NYS Nurses. (2022). New York State Action Coalition: Supporting nursing in NY.

Hassmiller, S. B. (2021). The future of nursing 2020-2030. AJN The American Journal of Nursing121(5), 7.

Goode, C. A., & Landefeld, T. (2018). The lack of diversity in healthcare. Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity11(2), 73-95. Hsu, M. H. K., Ling, M. H., & Lui, T. L. (2019). Relationship Between Gerontological Nursing Education and Attitude Toward Older People. Nurse education today74, 85-90.

Azar, K. M. (2021). The evolving role of nurse leadership in the fight for health equity. Nurse Leader19(6), 571-575.

Campaign for Action. (n.d.). State action coalitions.

Center for New York City Affairs. (2020). Hospital care in Black and White; How Systemic racism persists.

Ljungbeck, B., & Sjögren Forss, K. (2017). Advanced nurse practitioners in municipal healthcare as a way to meet the growing healthcare needs of the frail elderly: a qualitative interview study with managers, doctors, and specialist nurses. Biometric Central Nursing16(1), 1-9.

Murray, T. A. (2019). The future of nursing 2020–2030: Educating the workforce. Journal of Nursing Education58(9), 499-500.

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). (2021). The future of nursing2020-2030: Charting a path to achieve health equity(2021).

Whitney, S. (2018). The future of nursing in an evolving system. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Trends in health care: A nursing perspective.


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