NURS 6050 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
RNs and APRNs Role in Policy Evaluation/Review
Since nursing is one of the largest healthcare professions globally, they can easily influence policies globally to ensure policy reviews that benefit the health system and improve the quality of care provided to patients. Nurses are the core advocates of patients and the entire society to ensure we have healthy people. Advocacy is a critical part of nursing as nurses always advocate for their patients to ensure they receive quality care for life improvement and wellbeing. They instinctively advocate for their patients at workplaces, family, and community levels. However, this process of advocating for patients’ welfare and well-being can not be successful unless they participate in healthcare policies (Milstead and Short, 2019). Nurses can participate in healthcare policy in several ways, like participating in policy-making or policy evaluation process.
Opportunities that exist for RNs/APRNs to actively participate in policy evaluation/review
Several opportunities exist for nurses to take part in legislations that influence the wellness of their patients and the communities. For instance, nurses can involve themselves with policy evaluation through professional organizations like ANA and taking legislative positions like interns to government officials or legislators (ANA, 2021). Such nursing organizations provide nurses with the opportunity to take part in its administration. For example, by becoming a member of the nursing board of directors, the association’s administrators must work closely with government officials on matters affecting the healthcare system, hence proposing and supporting critical healthcare reviews aiming to improve the sector.
Nurses can also participate in policy evaluation by participating indirectly or directly in legislative matters by taking internship positions with politicians or running for political offices (Milstead and Short, 2019), which allows them to propose issues within the health sector be reviewed. For example, they can propose a review of the existing healthcare policies that hinder quality care, like the practice authority of Nurse Practitioners (NPs), which is one of the major issues affecting nurses’ performance within the system. Becoming a nurse legislator is critical in implementing necessary reviews within the healthcare sector since various views are necessary to make important reviews that ensure policies implemented are for the good of the patients. And since nurses are familiar with all the issues affecting patients, including them in the evaluation process is crucial in developing long-lasting solutions.
Challenges that Come With these Opportunities
They discussed opportunities. However, they come with several challenges that the nursing sector needs to overcome to enable more nurses to participate in healthcare policy. For example, little opportunity for involvement by nurses in the healthcare associations leads to the complexity of acquiring new members. These nursing organizations usually present complex procedures for acquiring new membership, which has discouraged many nurses from joining the organizations (Trueland, 2017). To overcome this challenge, nursing organizations need to develop simple procedures for acquiring new members to encourage new nurses and nursing students to join the associations.
Another challenge from the mentioned opportunities is lack of awareness and inadequate leadership skills. Most nurses are not aware of the current healthcare policies that need their involvement for evaluation. Poor leadership and disunity can is another major challenge as it prevents nurses from electing fellow nurse representatives who will represent their views in the government (Trueland, 2017). To overcome this challenge, nurses need to be updated on all the healthcare trends and issues and be educated on the significance of running for government offices in reviewing essential healthcare policies.
Strategies to Better Communicate the Opportunities
The strategies I recommend to communicate these opportunities better and help nurses fully participate in healthcare policy are through continued training/education and professional seminars (ANA, 2021). Exposing nurses to continuous learning will make them familiar with nursing policies and trends within the profession that needs reviewing. Professional seminars will help nurses develop leadership skills necessary for assuming leadership positions within the organizations and at the government level to influence critical healthcare reviews.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d). Advocacy. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/advocacy/
Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Trueland, J. (2017). Maintaining standards in difficult times. Nursing Standard (2014+), 31(46), 22. DOI:10.7748/ns.31.46.22.s23
Thank you for your post. I applaud you in your efforts in making your state representative aware of the concerns you have regarding public health care during this pandemic. I do not doubt that you will continue to be an excellent agent in the fight to improve healthcare. Milstead and Short (2019) stated that nurses should be active in policy-making and policy review and let their voices be heard and provide policymakers with the information needed to make effective policies to improve access to quality and cost-effective healthcare. Keep up the excellent work.
Nurses have a unique role in policy review regarding healthcare. Nurses’ participation in policy-making and policy review will help steer policymakers in the right direction to improve healthcare for the public and advocate improving healthcare providers’ working conditions. Nurses can vie for a position on the State Boards of Nursing (BONs), thereby allowing them to make policies and review policies affecting the nursing profession regarding education, licensure, and nursing practices. Being a representative of the BONs can also open doors for nurses to work with legislators giving them counsel on healthcare policies they would like to enact and review policies already enacted (NCSBN, 2014). Many legislators are not part of the healthcare profession. Therefore, they do not possess firsthand experience giving patient care. For example, Garcia (2019) penned Senator Maureen Walsh’s statement about nurses saying nurses “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” on April 16, 2019 “while denouncing a bill that would allow nurses to get mandatory, uninterrupted meal and rest breaks” (p. 1). Statements like these are why nurses must take a firm stand and get involved in policy-making and policy review to advocate for a better health care system for healthcare consumers and better working conditions and compensation for their fellow nurses.
Garcia, S. E. (2019, April 23). A State Senator who said nurses’ play cards’ while on the job may shadow one. The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/us/nurses-maureen-walsh.html
Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). (2014). Public Policy Agenda: 2014 – 2016 Edition. Retrieved April 26, 2021, from https://www.ncsbn.org/PublicPolicyAgenda-2014-2016.pdf
Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making. A critical component of any policy design is evaluation of the results. How comfortable are you with the thought of becoming involved with such matters?
Some nurses may be hesitant to get involved with policy evaluation. The preference may be to focus on the care and well-being of their patients; some nurses may feel ill-equipped to enter the realm of policy and political activities. However, as you have examined previously, who better to advocate for patients and effective programs and polices than nurses? Already patient advocates in interactions with doctors and leadership, why not with government and regulatory agencies?
In this Discussion, you will reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
- In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making.
- Review the Resources and reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
By Day 3 of Week 9
Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that currently exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review. Explain some of the challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges. Finally, recommend two strategies you might make to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities. Be specific and provide examples.
By Day 6 of Week 9
Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.