The George Washington University School of Nursing's Edward Salsberg discussed health workforce innovation Oct. 21 during a plenary panel at the American Academy of Nursing’s annual policy conference in Washington, D.C.
The health workforce is central to the efforts to transform health care which is being driven by a growing and aging population, unsustainable rising costs and an increasing number of chronically ill patients, Salsberg said.
“Nurses are well-positioned and prepared to meet these challenges,” Salsberg said. “Nurses are a critical piece of the health care transformation."
The panel, Innovative Models in Quality and Payment, also featured Tammy Peterman, executive vice president for the University of Kansas Hospital, and Dr. Eileen Sullivan-Marx, dean of the New York University College of Nursing.
Increasing use of advanced practice nurses and registered nurses can increase efficiency and add value for patients and the health care system, Salsberg said.
Salsberg also sees registered nurses taking on expanded roles in primary care and beyond as part of complex care management teams for patients with multiple diagnoses, as health coaches and in managing care for patients with chronic illnesses.
Value-based payment models are essential to deploying the health care workforce as efficiently as possible, he said. Funding is only one of the barriers to workforce innovations. Regulatory barriers also exist, and Salsberg pointed out that there is a need for more credible research.
Nurse educators are challenged to keep up with the innovations in health care and must prepare nurses for these new roles, Salsberg said.
GW Nursing's many clinical degrees, academic options focused on nurse leadership and an expanding footprint in the area of health policy all aim to best prepare its students to work in the evolving health care landscape.
Before coming to GW, Salsberg served as a founding director for the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which was authorized by the Affordable Care Act and established in 2010.
Connect with Edward Salsberg on Twitter at @EdwardSalsberg.