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APNA POSITION PAPER: The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity 

On November 14, 2021, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) adopted key elements of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s third Future of Nursing report, The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, as an APNA position.

Below are key aspects of the report which reflect the APNA position and align with current and future APNA initiatives: 

Recommendation 1:all national nursing organizations should initiate work to develop a shared agenda for addressing social determinants of health and achieving health equity. This agenda should include explicit priorities across nursing practice, education, leadership, and health policy engagement… in collaboration with the government, payers, health and health care organizations, and foundations, the implementation of this agenda should include associated timelines and metrics for measuring impact.

Recommendation 2: …state and federal government agencies, health care and public health organizations, payers, and foundations should initiate substantive actions to enable the nursing workforce to address social determinants of health and health equity more comprehensively, regardless of practice setting.

Recommendation 3: …nursing education programs, employers, nursing leaders, licensing boards, and nursing organizations should continue to support the implementation of structures, systems, and evidence-based interventions to promote nurses’ health and well-being, especially as they take on new roles to advance health equity.

Recommendation 4: All organizations, including state and federal entities and employing organizations, should enable nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training by removing barriers that prevent them from more fully addressing social needs and social determinants of health and improving health care access, quality, and value. These barriers include regulatory and public and private payment limitations; restrictive policies and practices; and other legal, professional, and commercial impediments.

Recommendation 5: Federal, tribal, state, local, and private payers and public health agencies should establish sustainable and flexible 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.

Recommendation 6: All public and private health care systems should 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.

Recommendation 7: Nursing education programs, including continuing education, and accreditors and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing should ensure that nurses are prepared to address social determinants of health and achieve health equity.

Recommendation 8: To enable nurses to address inequities within communities, local, state, and federal agencies, and other key stakeholders within and outside the nursing profession should strengthen and protect the nursing workforce during the response to such public health emergencies as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, including those related to climate change.

Recommendation 9: APNA recognizes that key government organizations, private associations, and foundations “should convene representatives from nursing, public health, and health care to develop and support a research agenda and evidence base describing the impact of nursing interventions, including multisector collaboration, on social determinants of health, environmental health, health equity, and nurses’ health and well-being”.

Approved by the APNA Board of Directors on November 14, 2021.