Yesterday's event at the Penn School of Nursing represented the "Pennsylvania Launch" for the Initiative on the Future of Nursing. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey spoke to a packed auditorium, explaining that this report is "not about nursing, it's about filling holes in our health care system." Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey explained the four overlying messages from the committee's report. Before turning the podium over to Julie Fairman, the nursing scholar in residence at the Institute of Medicine during the committee's deliberations, the crowd heard from Governor Ed Rendell via video. Governor Rendell commended the committee on their work, highlighting the ties between his own "Prescription for Pennsylvania" and the committee's recommendations... especially those related to expanding scope of practice for nurses. Dr. Fairman then gave an indepth look at the eight recommendations offered by the committee and shared her experiences working with such an accomplished group. Finally, she welcomed to the podium George Thibault and Julie Sochalski for a panel discussion on the report.
All in attendance agreed about the tremendous importance of this groundbreaking report... and all agreed that the time is now for nursing to embrace its future. As Governor Rendell said, "nurses hold the key to accessible and affordable health care in this country."