NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

Word cloud generators have become popular tools for meetings and team-building events. Groups or teams are asked to use these applications to input words they feel best describe their team or their role. A “word cloud” is generated by the application that makes prominent the most-used terms, offering an image of the common thinking among participants of that role.

What types of words would you use to build a nursing word cloud? Empathetic, organized, hard-working, or advocate would all certainly apply. Would you add policy-maker to your list? Do you think it would be a very prominent component of the word cloud?

Nursing has become one of the largest professions in the world, and as such, nurses have the potential to influence policy and politics on a global scale. When nurses influence the politics that improve the delivery of healthcare, they are ultimately advocating for their patients. Hence, policy-making has become an increasingly popular term among nurses as they recognize a moral and professional obligation to be engaged in healthcare legislation.

To Prepare:

  • Revisit the website provided in the Resources and consider the role of RNs and APRNs in policy-making.
  • Reflect on potential opportunities that may exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in the policy-making process.

By Day 3 of Week 8

Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making. 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 to participate in policy-making. Be specific and provide examples.

Post an explanation of at least two opportunities for RNs and APRNs to participate in policymaking actively.


Policymaking is a way of directing problems to the government’s attention and ensuring the government’s response (Milstead & Short, 2019). Issues that affect the healthcare industry can only be presented by those who are affected the most. Nurses make up the largest profession in the healthcare industry.  There is power in numbers in politics, and so if nurses become fully participate in policymaking, there will be changes in these healthcare issues (Milstead & Short, 2019). One of the ways nurses can participate in policymaking is getting involved in nursing organizations like the American nurses association, which is open to all nurses, and the board of nursing, which is directly involved in regulating laws. Nurses can also participate through an internship with elected official groups such as the house nursing caucus and senate nursing caucus, thereby creating credible relationships while learning policy processes. A nurse who is knowledgeable in policymaking can easily recognize when to contribute during the policymaking process.

Explain some of the challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges.


Unfortunately, most nurses do not have enough awareness about the importance of nurse’s involvement in politics. The lack of knowledge in politics is one challenge the nurses may face. Nurses are trained to be advocates and caregivers for their patients, with specific training that jeer into that role as nurses. In politics, particular languages, knowledge, and skills are needed to know how to get involved or address the elected officials in other to be taken seriously. The second challenge is that nurses do not have a unified voice; for example, the corporate board, such as the board of nursing for each state, has different policies that regulate the nurse’s scope of practice. As the largest profession in healthcare, if only there were unity, then the change in healthcare policy will be imminent. lastly time, nurses have been known to work overtime due to shortage, when staffing is short, patient to staff ratio goes up to meet the need (Moloney et al., 2018). However, nurses become burnout and then do not have time to participate in any extra activities including policymaking.

Overcoming these challenges will be a team effort. All nurses unite no matter the department/specialty or state. Starting from the workplace, if our local hospital, facilities, or other employers do not take nurses seriously, it will be complex for politicians to take us seriously. Nurses in the workplace should be encouraged or probably mandated to participate in the policy-making process. By empowering nurses at the workplace will give nurses confidence and knowledge in the policy-making process.

Finally, recommend two strategies you might make to better advocate for or communicate these opportunities to participate in policymaking. Be specific and provide examples.


The two strategies that I will recommend are providing visible opportunities for an internship with elected officials from undergraduate to graduate nursing programs, thereby building the knowledge base earlier. Two encouraging and educating nurses to participate in a nursing organization, starting from the workplace, Walden University gives tuition discount incentives for students who are members of a qualified professional organization. Healthcare administrators have a vital role in influencing healthcare policies (Laureate, 2018). They must create a safe place where nurses can be heard and respected for their contribution to the policy-making process.




Milstead, J., & Short, N. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide. Jones & Bartlett.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). The Policy Process [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Moloney, W., Gorman, D., Parsons, M.,  & Cheung, G. (2018). How to keep registered nurses

working in New Zealand even as economic conditions improve. Human Resources for Health. 16(1), 10.



By Day 6 of Week 8

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’* posts by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.

As Milstead and Short (2019) state, “much policy that regulates nursing practice is determined at the state level, and the policy process conducted here is no less complicated that at the federal level” (p. 90). Thus, it is no wonder that there is such a low participation of Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in policy-making if the policy process itself is that complicated. One challenge that you mentioned that RNs and APRNs face is the simple fact that there is a lack of education, understanding, and awareness about how imperative it is to be involved in the policy-making process. Nurses have the knowledge and experience obtained from the work environment, as well as the unique perspective of seeing the healthcare system unfold at its core that empowers them with the ability to make a real impact on health policies. Therefore, it would be beneficial for RNs and APRNs to become health policy experts by providing them with more information and training regarding health policies and laws, encouraging and supporting professional nursing organization membership, and emphasizing the significance of their involvement in policy-making (Barzegar Safari et al., 2020). In response to RNs and APRNs not having a unified voice, nurses have opportunities to improve their image by partaking in policy debates, having discussions over social media, and taking the initiative to participate in institutional policy-making and policy forums (Rasheed et al., 2020). All things considered, it is crucial for RNs and APRNs to be active contributors in the policy-making process so that the transformation of a more accessible, affordable, and better-quality healthcare system can begin to take place.




Barzegar Safari, M., Bahadori, M., & Alimohammadzadeh, K. (2020). The related factors of

nurses’ participation and perceived benefits and barriers in health policy making. Journal

of Nursing Research, 28(4), e103.

Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.).

Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Rasheed, S. P., Younas, A., & Mehdi, F. (2020). Challenges, extent of involvement, and the

impact of nurses’ involvement in politics and policy making in the last two decades: An integrative review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(4), 446-455.


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