Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making.
There are many ways that nurses can get involved with policy-making. They can do this locally, within their organization, or on a larger scale at a state, federal, and international level (Rasheed, Younas, & Mehdi, 2020). Nurses serve as vital members of healthcare institutions and serve as experts who can help develop policies with their evidence-based knowledge (Rasheed et al., 2020). Nurses serving within organizations impact the organization, individuals, communities, and populations that receive care from those organizations (Rasheed et al., 2020). Nurses can also join professional nursing organizations that specialize in areas of their choosing (Anders, 2021). The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Explain some of the challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges.
Nurses make up over half of the healthcare force, so it would make sense that nurses have extensive involvement in policymaking regarding healthcare (Anders, 2021). However, nurse representation in politics and even within healthcare organizations is low (Anders, 2021). Nurses face many barriers to promoting change through policy implementation. Challenges include lack of interest or knowledge in policy or politics, lack of time, and not being prepared through their education (Rasheed et al., 2020) (Anders, 2021). Other challenges include being too passive when on decision-making boards and not being valued by members of decision-making teams (Rasheed et al., 2020). It is not uncommon for nurses to be excluded from policy development in the workplace, and nurses’ perspectives are not considered when nursing-related policies are developed (Rasheed et al., 2020). However, nurses serving on the frontlines are ideal healthcare policy advocates and should be engaged in policy development (Anders, 2021). One way to help prepare nurses for leadership and policy development roles would be to educate nurses during their formal training, during their undergrad and graduate studies (Turale & Kunaviktikul, 2019). Education could also be offered through continuing education and training programs (Turale & Kunaviktikul, 2019).
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. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
To overcome the lack of voice within hierarchies, nurses can use social media as a platform to advocate for patients (Anders, 2021). Social activism can engage public support to pave the way for change. One example of using social media to advocate for change is the #GetMePPE movement, where nurses advocated for PPE during the covid-19 pandemic (Anders, 2021). Another example of how nurses can advocate for policy-making is in person. In Washington DC on annual Hill Day, 2017, over 100 oncology nurses gathered to serve as a voice to advocate for change, such as supporting the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (Barber, 2017).
Anders, R. L. (2021). Engaging nurses in health policy in the era of COVID‐19. Nursing Forum, 56(1), 89–94. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/nuf.12514
Barber, D. (2017). Advocacy can make a difference. ONS Voice, 32(11), 10.
Rasheed, S.P., Younas, A., & Mehdi, F. (2020). Challenges, extent of involvement, and the impact of nurses’ involvement in politics and policymaking in last two decades: An integrative review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(4), 446-455. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/jnu.12567
Turale, S., and Kunaviktikul, W. (2019). The contribution of nurses to health policy and advocacy requires leaders to provide training and mentorship. International Nursing Review, 66(3), 302-304. https://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12550
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. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
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. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Respond to at least two of your colleagues’* posts by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.
The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
As advanced practice registered nurses we have an obligation to our patient care community and to our nursing community to actively participate in healthcare policy development. There are several opportunities to achieve this, so it is important to recognize the avenues that will produce the greatest success. According to the American Nurses Association (n.d.) there are three active representatives in congress that are registered nurses, and all three have been active in healthcare policies that have been presented in recent years. Representative Eddie Johnson was a cosponsor to H.R. 1195 – Workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act, and she also introduced the National Nurse Act of 2019 that would designate the Chief Nurse Officer of the United States public health services as the National Nurse for Public Health (Congress, 2021). Although this is one direct way to be active in policy-making, it starts at the ground level with constituents, like nurses, identifying a problem and working to create a solution.
Two opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making
Being involved on committees, or boards or acquiring a nursing membership is a fundamental way to actively participate in policy-making. An example would be obtaining a membership to the American Nurses Association. There is a wealth of information and resources on how to connect and get involved in policy-making at different levels. Johnson and Johnson (n.d.) has created a resource pool for nurses interested in health policy and it provides vital information like advocacy organizations and how to support nursing innovation. “Professional experts such as registered nurses are often asked to serve as panel members or consultants or to serve on committees that provide input to policymakers” (Milstead & Short, 2019). The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Another important opportunity is reaching out to an elected official that would be most receptive to an idea and working with them to create a policy. When presenting information to the elected official address important issues like what level of government is it most appropriate for, what issues opponents might have, and figuring out how to get it passed (Laureate, 2018). State legislators have a huge influence on what happens on the healthcare system, so it is important to act as an expert and educate them on current issues. It is key to understand the issue being presented and to personalize it so the elected official can better understand their impact (Laureate, 2018).
Challenges that these opportunities may present and how to overcome them
There are several factors that influence what gets puts on an agenda, how it moves through the process, and whether it survives to the end of the policy-making process (Laureate, 2018). Poor policy design is often the reason for policy failure- by shifting focus of study to policy design, more reliable and explicit answers can be found, leading to greater chances of policy success (Milstead & Short, 2019). Managing oppositions could help with policy design by asking them what suggestions they may have, what do they believe is missing from the policy, and ways they consider might help to pass it (Laureate, 2018). “Policy tools are important resources for the professional nurse because experience using them can enlighten policymakers and persuade them to support or oppose a policy” (Milstead & Short, 2019). The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Two strategies to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities to participate in policy-making
Talking to local communities and building relationships with the media will help to inform the public on current issues being addressed and it will aide in getting those outside of the nursing community involved. The video “Health policy and politics” provides the example of nurses working with teachers on managing of proper vaccination of kids. Often times the public isn’t informed of their ability to participate in change and as nurses we forget sometimes that policies reflect public opinion as well as evidence-based date (Milstead & Short, 2019).
Providing information within facilities is another strategy to communicate the existence of opportunities to participate in policy-making. There are several committees within my hospital that nurses can be involved in to influence internal policies, but there are no incentives or information provided to nurses on the opportunities to illicit change on a larger scale. This could be something as simple as having the lock-screen on the computers advertise joining the American Nurses Association or providing an employee discount to a membership of any professional nursing association.
American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Federal issues. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/advocacy/federal/
Congress. (2021). H.R.1195 – Workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers act. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1195/cosponsors?searchResultViewType=expanded
Johnson and Johnson. (n.d.). Health policy nurse at a glance. Retrieved from https://nursing.jnj.com/specialty/health-policy-nurse The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Getting your Program Designed and Implemented [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Health policy and politics [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. The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making