Back in November a national committee, chaired by UM President Donna E. Shalala and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Institute of Medicine, concluded a two-year study on the future of nursing. The resulting 562-page report details a series of “groundbreaking systemic changes necessary for hospitals, health care facilities, and higher education,” according to UM School of Nursing and Health Studies Dean Nilda “Nena” Peragallo. Last Thursday evening, Peragallo moderated a discussion at the M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing Education about how to implement some of the report’s recommendations and address how these changes will revolutionize the traditional role of nurses and physicians across Florida and the nation. The experts on the panel, titled “From Recommendations to Implementation,” included Shalala; Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, assistant professor at the School of Nursing and Health Studies and a member of the national Future of Nursing Committee; William Donelan, vice president of medical administration and chief operating strategy officer at the Miller School of Medicine; and Steven Ullmann, professor and director of Programs in Health Administration at UM’s School of Business Administration. Among the issues covered, Peragallo asked some of the panelists about the scope of a nurses’ job and whether it could be enhanced. Given the grave shortage of doctors the nation will face as well as the many changes expected as a result of the new health care reform law, Ullman said it would be critical for the nation’s nurses, nearly three million in number, to work at the top of their learning and scope. Florida law currently limits that practice.