Health Policy$ense

Re: Nurses

New Roles, New Rules in a Transformed Health System

In a new LDI/INQRI Research Brief, Erin Fraher, Joanne Spetz, and LDI Senior Fellow Mary Naylor analyze the challenges and opportunities that health system transformation presents to the country’s 2.9 million registered nurses. They explore the new roles and responsibilities for nurses in alternate delivery models such as Accountable Care Organizations and medical homes, and call for changes in nurse education, regulation, and policy.

Increasingly, they note, nurses will have responsibility for population health, complex elders and family caregivers, and care coordination across settings and providers. New systems of care will entail unprecedented levels of interprofessional collaboration and teamwork.

What will it take to optimize the contributions of nurses in these changing systems?  In essence, the authors call for a number of "re-s", including:

  • Redesign the nursing curriculum to impart new competencies;
  • Retrain existing nurses to impart new skills and knowledge;
  • Revamp licensing examination and requirements to reflect the new curriculum; and
  • Restructure the state regulatory system to allow flexible deployment of the nurse workforce.


Read, and re-read, the brief here.

INQRI (Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative) is a research program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that quantifies the role of nurses in improving patient care.  Penn’s INQRI program is co-directed by Mary Naylor, RN, PhD and Mark Pauly, PhD.