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A Dialogue on the Future of Nursing Practice


  • Mary Ann Lavin, ScD, RN, APRN-BC, FAAN, Geralyn A. Meyer, PhD, RN, and Peggy Ellis, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, are Associate Professors, Saint Louis University School of Nursing, St. Louis, MO.

Author contact: lavinma@slu.e


PURPOSE. The challenges of health care; its safety, effectiveness, and efficiency; the quality of care; and the outcomes patients experience are issues central to nursing practice. This centrality needs to be affirmed as the profession shapes its practice over the next 50 years. The purpose of this article is to initiate a dialogue on the future of nursing practice.

METHODS. The methods used are observation, reflection, dialogue, and proposed actions.

FINDINGS. The results of this process are preliminary. They suggest that the establishment of nursing hospitals is a distinct possibility.

CONCLUSIONS. This article concludes with a series of arguments for and against this position along with an invitation for your participation in this dialogue.

NURSING IMPLICATIONS. The major implications of this article are not “nursing” implications per se but client and patient implications and the future contribution of nursing to improved health and patient care.