FOCUS ON:  The Future of Nursing

Page reviewed and updated August, 2023

It’s been over a decade since the publishing of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Released in 2010 by the IOM, now known as the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the report presented a set of recommendations to strengthen the capacity, education, and role of the nursing workforce. The second report, released in 2015, Assessing Progress on the Institute of Medicine Report the Future of Nursing, highlighted the progress made since the first report and outlined three primary themes. These included the need to increase awareness of nurses’ ability to play a full role in health professions practice, education, collaboration, and leadership; the need to continue to make promoting diversity in the nursing workforce a priority; and the need for better data with which to assess and drive progress.

In the third and latest report, The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 - Charting the Path to achieve Health Equity, released in 2021, the NAM once again partnered with the RWJF to explore the ways in which the nursing profession addresses and influences social determinants of health (SDOH) and health equity in the United States. A study was conducted aimed at developing the nursing profession’s role in creating a culture of health and moving the country toward health equity for all. The committee recommendations focus on changes at the individual and system levels for nurses in all settings. They also implore national organizations, policy makers, educators, health care leaders, and payers to participate in this movement to enable these changes to occur.


  1. Develop a shared agenda to address social determinants of health and achieve health equity. The agenda should prioritize nursing practice, education, leadership, and health policy engagement.
  2. Initiate actions to enable the nursing workforce to address social determinants of health and health equity more comprehensively, regardless of practice setting.
  3. Promote nurses’ health and well-being as they take on new roles to advance health equity.
  4. Enable nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training by removing barriers such as regulatory, public, and private payment limitations; restrictive policies and practices; and other legal, professional, and commercial impediments.
  5. Establish payment mechanisms to support nurses in both health care and public health (including school nurses) in addressing social needs, social determinants of health, and health equity.
  6. Incorporate nursing expertise in designing, generating, analyzing, and applying data to support initiatives focused on social determinants of health and health equity using diverse digital platforms, artificial intelligence, and other innovative technologies.
  7. Ensure that nurses are prepared to address social determinants of health and achieve health equity.
  8. Strengthen and protect the nursing workforce during responses to public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, including those related to climate change.
  9. Develop and support research on the impact of nursing interventions on social determinants of health, environmental health, health equity, and nurses’ health and well-being.

Take some time to read these documents and learn more about this initiative and what it means to you and your practice. This is our future, the future of nursing

Wolters Kluwer Health supports keeping the nursing profession aware of articles and activities around this initiative. One of the best ways we can affect change within the profession and within the healthcare system is to disseminate information that will improve nursing practice and improve patient outcomes. Several of our journals have published and plan to publish editorials, articles, and other resources that support this endeavor. This Focus On: The Future of Nursing page is a compilation of those activities. We have the opportunity to significantly impact the way health care is delivered. Use the resources below to help make a difference.

From our Journals


Future of Nursing

Transformative Change in Nursing: New Mindsets, Visionary Goals, and the Future of Nursing
Nursing Administration Quarterly, July/September 2023
Implications of the Future of Nursing Report on Clinical Nurse Specialists
Clinical Nurse Specialist – The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, July/August, 2022

Philanthropic Foundations’ Discourse and Nursing’s Future: A Critical Discourse Analysis of RWJF Future of Nursing Initiatives
Advances in Nursing Science, April/June 2023
Our Nursing Profession at a Crossroads: Time to Chart a Course for the Future
Nursing Administration Quarterly, July/September 2022
Nursing Professional Development and the Future of Nursing 2020-2030: A Winning Combination
Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, May/June 2022

A Comparison of the 2023 Magnet Manual and the 2020-2030 Future of Nursing Report
JONA: Journal of Nursing Administration, April 2022
The Future of Nursing 2030: Informatics Implications
CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, April 2022
NCPD The Future of Nursing: Application of Health Equity in Orthopaedics
Orthopaedic Nursing, March/April 2022
The Future of Nursing Education: Reimagined
Nursing Education Perspectives, November/December 2021
The Future Capacity of the Nursing Workforce: COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impacts on New Nurses and Nursing Students Toward the Profession
Nurse Educator, November/December 2021
Investing in the Future of Nursing
Journal of Infusion Nursing, September/October 2021
The Future of Nursing 2020-2030
AJN, American Journal of Nursing, May 2021
NCPD The Future of Nursing: Creating a Culture of Equity
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2021

Building the Profession of the Future: Challenging Assumptions
Nursing Administration Quarterly, January/March 2021
The Future of Nursing Report 10 Years Later: Where is Nursing and What Work Remains?
Nursing Education Perspectives, September/October 2020
Investing in Nursing’s Future
AJN, American Journal of Nursing, August 2020
Second Future of Nursing Report to Incorporate Pandemic Response
Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, July/August 2020
WHO: State of the World’s Nursing 2020
Lippincott® NursingCenter®, April 2020
Envisioning the Future of Nursing Professional Development
Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, January/February 2020
The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: A Continued Vision
Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, September/October 2019
Disruption Ahead: Navigating and Leading the Future of Nursing
Nursing Administration Quarterly, July/September 2019
A New Future of Nursing Report
AJN, American Journal of Nursing, July 2019