As we all know that the healthcare system is rapidly developing, and things are changing and as such nurses as the largest part of the health care system should move forward and be part of this changes. The nurse needs to influence the formulation of health policies rather than just implementing them for us to be able to control our practice. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
One of the opportunities that exist for RN and APRN to be involve in policy review is by becoming a member of their states association. Becoming a member of their states association will allow an RN/APRN the opportunity to work closely with their senators and representatives, and they will be able to take part in healthcare policies review. Many nurses do not want to be part of their state’s association due to some of the challenges that comes with it. One of the challenges is that it is time consuming. It will be difficult for any nurse to be able to actively participate especially when they have a full-time job or family, they find it difficult to devote their time and instead of them devoting their time, they will prefer to volunteer their time instead. Been path of an association will allow an RN/APRN, to be part of the process that help to develop tools to evaluate the effectiveness of a given policy and this will enable RN/APRN to let our policymakers know if the policy works or not.
Also, another way an RN/APRN can be involve in policy review is to either take part in an internship program with an elected official or the RN/APRN can even run for an office at the local, states and federal level. Doing this will enable nurses to participate in review of policy and because nurses are part of the health care system, they have a good idea of the problem and the potential solutions to those problems. When policies are developed, nurses will be able to evaluate and think about the possible outcome of that policy before its implementation. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
One of the strategies to communicate the existence of these opportunities to our fellow
Nurses is through nursing organization such as American Nurses Association (American Nurses Association, n.d.). Nurses should not just be path of this group but must be actively involve for us to effect the change that is needed to transform the healthcare system.
Another way to communicate the opportunity that exist is to add health policy education to nursing curriculum while in nursing school so that the nurses will be well inform and knowledgeable about their roles and impact they can create through their involvement in review of policy. Also, courses such as this one has added incredible value to policy process. “In 1991, the American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) announced that it is necessary to add health policy education to the field of nursing at Master’s level.” (McCleery et Al.,)
In conclusion, nurses should be knowledgeable about all issues related to health system and not just caring issues because the days of nurses just carrying out prescribed orders are over. Now it is time for nurses to be health legislators and develop practical policies. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Advocacy. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/advocacy/
McCleery, E., Christensen, V., Peterson, K., Humphrey, L., & Helfand, M. (2014). Evidence Brief: The Quality of Care Provided by Advanced Practice Nurses. In VA Evidence Synthesis Program Evidence Briefs. Department of Veterans Affairs (US)
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.
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. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
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.
Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practicing Registered Nurses (APRNs) have several opportunities to actively participle in policy review. As I mentioned in last week’s post, there are several professional organizations that nurses are able to join. Some of those organizations include, but are not limited to, the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). Nurses are able to actively participate within these organizations and can ensure that policies’ that are being implemented are effective and are beneficial to nursing as well as the care they provide. Nurses are able to actively participle in the review process and influence the health care policy (ANA, n.d.), which is beneficial for nurses, especially since we can greatly impact policy change and the care that will be provided with personal experience and our knowledge of the medical field.
Another way that nurses have the opportunity to affect and influence policy review is within the workplace. In my assignment last week, I discussed how my unit is working on implementing a new program called ‘baby safe’ and how this new program will be beneficial to my department. RNs and APRNS are meant to promote the quality of health, advocate for patients, and to provide the best evidence-based care possible. That being said nurses are able to influence new policies and policy changes within a unit by requesting changes and providing personal experiences to assist with change and providing personal experiences, and how we can make changes happen (Milstead & Short, 2019). As we all should know, polices are made to promote the quality of care and to decrease possible errors and as a nurse we are the ones who will validate if the policies are effect or not.
Of course, there are always challenges, especially when it comes to policy review and changes. One of the challenges’ is the prices to join some of the professional organizations. Some organizations require monthly or yearly fees as well as other stipulations, such as certain participation requirement. Especially with our already long hours and unpredictable schedules, it can be difficult to reach the requirements and provide the proper time and dedication to a program, which it may require from us. Another difficulty, except within the workplace, is not all managers are helpful, unfortunately. It may be difficult to make changes within your departments policies if you do not have a support manager to assist you to make the proper changes or evaluations. Not all managers appreciate a leader within their department and typically does not want more ‘work applied to their plate’. Except, when one has a great manager, nurses and APRNs are able to assist with changes, though sometimes nurses are given too much of the work, which can create problems, since not all nurses are aware or have the know how to make policy changes or where to get the information (Laureate Education, 2018). The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
There are several strategies RNs and APRNs may utilize to become a better advocate or to communicate the existence of opportunities, but there are two I would like to specifically mention. First and foremost, nurses should be persistent with your statements and concerns and second have patience for change will not happen overnight. Changes take time and sometimes years (Milstead & Short, 2019), especially if people lives are affected. As Olson (2020, para 12) stated, “… professional commitment to advance important policy changes can be pivotal in your career advancement, while helping you stay up to date on practice trends and acquire new experience and skills.” Many of us that choose to invest our energy in advocating for public health will gain personal satisfaction and much more within the workplace and within our communities (Olson, 2020). With proper training and mentorship, nurses are an essential element for policy review and change and we should not give up when our goals get rocky, but we should push harder, for we are the future within health care.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2021, from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/health-policy/
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Program Policy and Evaluation [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Milstead, J. A., & Short, N.M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones Bartlett Learning.
Olson, K. (2020). Influence through policy: four steps YOU can take. Nursing Centered. Retrieved April 26, 2021, from https://nursingcentered.sigmanursing.org/commentary/more-commentary/Vol42_2_influence-through-policy-four-steps-you-can-take
It’s nice reading through your post and I would like to add that another way nurses can participate in policy review is by volunteering to participate in policy meetings or related activities and they can also develop a fact sheet. Doing this will allow the RN/APRN to review and evaluate the policy and know if its going to work or not. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
For an RN/APRN to participate in policy review, we must begin to see ourselves as a professional with full capacity and potentials to influence healthcare delivery system. Through the RN/APRN participation and involvement in policy review, they will be able to evaluate the policy and inform the policy decision makers of some of the flaws in the policy and what needs to be adjusted. If nurses can influence policy, it will help the RN/APRN to shape the care that they are providing to their patient. It is very important for nurse to participate in policy review because whatever policy that is enacted will have influence on nurse’s standard of practice.
Some of the challenges nurses are facing is the lack of adequate information or knowledge of how to be involve in politics and policy review. One of the ways to overcome this challenge is by taking courses such as this while in school and by the time the nursing student will graduate out of school, they will have a greater awareness of policy making/review and tools that are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy. Doing this will add an incredible value to policy process.
Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation