Terry Fulmer, dean of NYU College of Nursing, recently participated in a panel discussion titled “What We Should Teach” at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing. The event was part of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) forum, held at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The foundation and the IOM are collaborating to establish an initiative on the future of nursing. The initial cornerstone of this effort will be to conduct a study whose goal is to produce a transformational report for the field.
In the “What We Should Teach” discussion, Fulmer spoke about the aging of America. By 2030, it is predicted that over 20 percent of Americans will be over the age of 65, and advance practice nurses will become increasingly responsible for primary care. Fulmer’s key recommendations addressed what to teach future nurses and how team skills are to be assessed to ensure continuity across a variety of settings ranging from clinics, special care services, and teaching roles. She also stressed that there needs to be a range of advanced nursing roles.
In 2009, over 600 million patients visited advanced practice nurses for primary care treatment, and this demand will only increase as baby boomers continue to age. In order to ensure a competent nursing workforce, Fulmer emphasized that nursing education programs need to encompass geriatrics syndromes, primary adult and aging care, and knowledge regarding chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes management, chronic pulmonary diseases, and congestive heart failure.