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

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

Sample Answer for Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making Included After Question

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

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

Registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses play crucial roles in the promotion of the optimum health and wellbeing of their populations. They are also increasingly involved in the formulation of policies that influence healthcare delivery in their organizations (Hajizadeh et al., 2021). Therefore, this paper examines two opportunities for these nurses to actively participate in policy-making and challenges associated with the opportunities. It also examines strategies for advocating or communicating the existence of these opportunities for RNs and APRNs.

Several opportunities exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making. One of them is policy assessment. RNs and APRNs have extensive experience in caring patients and addressing issues affecting their practice. As a result, they can utilize knowledge and skills gained from their experience to provide crucial insights in policy assessment. They can provide appropriate data for policy formulation. The other opportunity is policy formulation. RNs and APRNs can participate in the development of policies that address actual and potential needs in healthcare (Hajizadeh et al., 2021). They ensure the adopted policies align with the diverse needs of patients, healthcare providers, and healthcare institutions.

The above opportunities present some challenges for RNs and APRNs. One of them is the effect of organizational issues on RNs and APRNs involvement in policy assessment and formulation. Issues such as nursing shortage may limit the active participation of RNs and APRNs in policy-related issues. The other challenge is limited recognition of nurses’ role in policy-making. For a long time, nurses’ role in policy issues remains inadequate. This may affect their involvement in policy assessment and formulation in healthcare (Rasheed et al., 2020; Safari et al., 2020). Therefore, some of the effective strategies to address these challenges include educating nurses on their vital role in policy-making and advocating for the increased recognition of their vital role. RNs and APRNs have opportunities such as policy assessment and formulation in policy-making. These opportunities have challenges attributed to organizational issues and nurses’ recognition in policy-making. Evidence-based interventions such as training nurses should be adopted to address these challenges. Nurses’ involvement in policy-making ensures relevance and sustainability of the adopted policies.

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 References

Hajizadeh, A., Zamanzadeh, V., Kakemam, E., Bahreini, R., & Khodayari-Zarnaq, R. (2021). Factors influencing nurses participation in the health policy-making process: A systematic review. BMC Nursing, 20(1), 1–9.

Rasheed, S. P., Younas, A., & Mehdi, F. (2020). Challenges, extent of involvement, and the impact of nurses’ involvement in politics and policy making in in last two decades: An integrative review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(4), 446–455.

Safari, M. B., 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.

A Sample Answer for The Assignment: Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

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

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Firstly, it is true that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to more individuals being insured, contributing to a decrease in unnecessary ER usage. However, this has yet to translate to a reduced demand for nurses. The aging population, coupled with increased access to healthcare, is projected to lead to an increased demand for nurses across all specialties.

Regarding the shortage of nurses, while it may be true that there is a shortage of nurses willing to work in some regions of the highest need, there is also a more general nursing shortage that is expected to worsen over time. Working in a psychiatric hospital, the nursing shortage has been a significant challenge. Psychiatric nursing requires specialized skills and knowledge to care for individuals with mental health disorders. The need in my facility has led to many negative consequences for patients, including decreased access to care, longer wait times, and lower quality of care. It has also increased nurses’ stress and burnout, further exacerbating the shortage.

In conclusion, the nursing shortage has significantly impacted the healthcare industry, including psychiatric facilities. While there may be some nuance to the shortage, the overall trend is increasing demand and a limited supply of qualified nurses.

For healthcare legislation to be successful and be evidenced based it is imperative that RNs and APRNs be involved in the policy-making process. By being involved in the initial stages of policy-making, nurses advocate for improvements that benefit both themselves and patients, i.e., policies that increase the scope of practice for APRNs to increase patient access to primary care providers (Milstead & Short, 2019).

One avenue that nurses can use to be a part of the policy-making process is their participation in a professional nursing organization such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). AANP members are involved in political advocacy committees that advocate policies like H.R 8812 ICAN Act which promotes improving patient access to health care by eliminating Medicaid and Medicare barriers to ARNP practice (AANP, 2022).

Another way nurses can affect the policy-making process is through community advocacy in local groups or within their own organizations. By being involved at a local level in healthcare issues nurses draw public attention and can positively influence public perception (Milstead & Short, 2019). While nurses are great advocates for patients, they face challenges in inserting themselves at the table of policy-making. The biggest challenge to overcome is the historically subservient nature of the nurse-physician relationship.

Nurses report feelings of powerlessness within political spheres related to a perceived preference for male voices over nurses’ opinions (Rasheed, Younas & Mehdi, 2020). Another challenge for nurses is our perception as good implementers of policy which is a passive role and not as a policymaker which is an active role. Nurses have historically had low participation as policymakers and as members of committees that affect policy, however through education and empowerment that could be changed.

To improve nurses’ ability to be effective policymakers, nurse leaders should promote participation in professional organizations and organizational committees to their fellow nurses. Nurses should be educated on the importance of their voices and views and how they can be used for the betterment of others.

When I first started with the VA, I didn’t participate in committees, and I wasn’t a part of a professional organization. However, as I moved to other positions within the organization, I came into contact with nurse leaders who both empowered and educated their nurses to be active in the policy-making process within our organization and would conduct training events to spread the word.

References

  • Milstead, J. A. & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). 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 in last two decades: An integrative review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship52(4), 446–455. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnu.12567

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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.

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?

To Prepare:

Revisit the Congress.gov website provided in the Resources and consider the role of RNs and APRNs in policy-making. 

Good post. I agree that it can be a challenge for nurses to join hospital-wide committees due to there being a lack of information on why it is important for nurses to participate in these committees, a lack of time and energy due to working long shifts, prioritizing self-care and sleep to prevent burn out, and taking care of personal matters. Shared governance in nursing is crucial for healthcare policymaking as it empowers and encourages nurses to actively participate in decision-making processes that can lead to more collaboration and employee engagement in the workplace, leading to new policies’ development (Brennan & Wendt, 2021, para 2).

Creating a supportive and inclusive committee culture, where nurses’ contributions are valued and recognized, can make participation more appealing. Hospital organizations can also incentivize nurses to join their committees by providing tangible incentives, such as continuing education credits, recognition awards, and/or financial compensation for committee work and member fees for joining professional nursing organizations. Meetings can be recorded and shared with night shift nurses or other nurses that couldn’t attend the live meeting through Microsoft Teams to watch at a later time to encourage participation.

In addition to joining a hospital committee or a professional nursing organization, RNs and APRNs can actively participate in policy-making by doing research. Health policy research focuses on improving access to care, the quality and cost of care, and the efficiency of care. The research framework should focus on improving the focus and design of research and better explicating the connection between research evidence and policy (Ellenbecker & Edward, 2017, p. 208). Nurses can conduct research and then share their findings with other healthcare professionals and policymakers. I like how you mentioned that it’s important to recognize that all parties provide different perspectives because of the roles they play. Therefore, working as a team, policies can be revised or new policies can be created based on different thoughts and research evidence, which can improve patient safety and care, and can increase nurse satisfaction as their voices are heard.

Thanks for your post!

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.

Opportunities for RNs and APRNs in Policy Making  

When you think of nurses, you envision a nurse in scrubs and gloves and providing hands-on patient care; however, there are countless different fields that nurses are essential members of. One of those is in the government and organizations being active members in policy making. During the Obama administration, a registered nurse, Marilyn Tavenner, became the first RN to lead the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, showing other nurses that opportunities expand to the government. Marilyn was not the only one; Patricia Horoho was made the first nurse to serve as Surgeon General in the United States Army. With their healthcare knowledge and passion for making changes in the government, they are great role models for other nurses who seek to make instrumental changes as they have. The US government is one of many places with opportunities for nurses; those interested in policymaking can find opportunities within their state. APRNs are essential when developing the scope of practice, determining reimbursement policies, and advocating for change. Some organizations include labor unions, and those on the board are often RNs and APRNs who seek to make policies to improve the working environment and safety among nurses (Milstead & Short, 2019, Chapter 5, p. 90).  

Challenges   

There are many different reasons why nurses might want to avoid getting involved in policymaking. In 2021, a study was done to outline the factors that influence nurses’ participation in policymaking; they found the following challenges within this study. These include not having enough time to dedicate, not having enough political knowledge, and fear of opposing opinions, to mention a few (Hajizadeh et al., 2021). The biggest challenge was that nurses felt they lacked the political knowledge to make a difference. One way to overcome this is by recruiting nurses, offering educational courses, or something that would help nurses learn more about policymaking. Another big challenge was their lack of time; many had full-time jobs and families that took up their time, making it difficult to join an organization. This is challenging to find a solution for because what might work for one person only works for another. One option is to have monthly meetings, making them virtual and scheduling events beforehand, giving participants the time to plan accordingly. Another option is having different levels of involvement, having different areas someone can assist in, given the time they have to dedicate to the cause.   

Strategies  

The American Nurses Association (ANA) plays a big part in policymaking at a federal and state level. They work with congress members to educate them on behalf of nurses and healthcare to help develop policies. The ANA also offers a federal advocacy program called RN Action for those interested in getting involved (Federal Advocacy, 2017). An excellent strategy to get interested nurses involved in a program such as RN Action is to make them aware early on, throughout nursing school, and by reaching out to them in the workforce. An article in the Nurse Journal outlines ten ways to get involved, including attending legislative sessions. One way to see if you are interested in getting involved is to attend a session; there, you can learn how decisions are made and understand the policymaking process. An excellent way to get others involved is by word of mouth, asking a co-worker or colleague to join a session.   

RE: Discussion – Week 8

 

Response 2 

Thank you for your post Solange. The public health officials who form health policies, inform the general public, and influence government policy decision-making mostly comprise of physicians with first-hand experiences. In the same essence, nurses also possess adequate education and first-hand experience to inform healthy public policy.

Nurses need to start taking initiative to be more involved in politics to influence positive patient outcomes. As per Barzegar Safari et al. (2020), currently, nurses only participate at a moderate level in policy making activities.

Through the course, we have realized the importance of participating in professional nursing organizations to take an active role in political action. As beginners, nurses can take on small roles at their unit level to explore the policy-making related activities as you mentioned. The only way to know what is involved in policymaking is to actively participate in political action activities and seeking opportunities (Milstead & Short, 2019).

For example: nursing school provides us with basic knowledge and skills for a particular area of nursing but with experience we become proficient with the policies, skills, medications, etc. of a certain unit. As novice nurses, hesitancy to start something new is natural, especially politics, but that should not stop one from engaging.

Some of the strategies identified to increase nurses’ participating in politics and policy making include providing information to nurses regarding health policies, increasing nurses’ partnerships at senior levels of management, and changing nurse’s perception regarding their participation in politics is vital (Barzegar Safari et al., 2020).

By using the mentioned strategies suggested, it has the potential to change nurses’ perceptions and become more actively involved. Just as nurses have the obligation to act in patients’ best interests at all times, nurses also have an obligation to participate in policymaking as policies affect patient outcomes at a broader level.

References

  • Barzegar Safari, M., Bahadori, M., & Alimohammadzadeh, K. (2020). The related factors of nurses’ participation and perceived benefits and barriers in health policy making. The Journal of Nursing Research, 28(4), 1-8. doi: 10.1097/jnr.0000000000000385
  • Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.).        Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Opportunity 1: Engaging in Professional Nursing Associations

Joining and participating in professional nursing associations is one way for Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to actively participate in policymaking. These organizations give nurses a place to collaborate with their peers, develop leadership skills, and influence healthcare policies (American Nurses Association, 2021). RNs and APRNs can advocate for policies that improve patient care, address health disparities, and promote the nursing profession by joining these organizations (Smolowitz et al., 2015).

Opportunity 2: Participating in Health Policy Internships and Fellowships

Pursuing health policy internships and fellowships is another way for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policymaking. These programs give nurses hands-on experience in policy development, implementation, and evaluation, as well as legislative exposure (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Participation in such programs provides RNs and APRNs with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively advocate for policies that improve healthcare outcomes and population health (Rushton et al., 2018).

Challenges:

Time constraints and competing priorities are two challenges that RNs and APRNs may face when participating in policymaking through professional nursing associations or internships and fellowships. Trying to balance work, family, and other responsibilities can make it difficult for nurses to devote time to these opportunities (Smolowitz et al., 2015)

Overcoming this challenge: To address this issue, nurses can seek assistance from their employers in obtaining flexible work schedules or professional development time dedicated to policy engagement. Furthermore, nurses can prioritize their participation in policy-making activities by setting attainable goals and collaborating with peers to share responsibilities (American Nurses Association, 2021).

Lack of confidence and expertise in policymaking: A lack of confidence and expertise in policymaking is another challenge that RNs and APRNs may face. Many nurses may feel unready to participate in policy debates or navigate the legislative process (Rushton et al., 2018).

Overcoming this challenge: Nurses can gain confidence and expertise by participating in educational programs, workshops, or seminars on health policy, legislative processes, and advocacy. Working with experienced nurse advocates and mentors can also help you navigate the policy-making process (Institute of Medicine, 2011).

Recommendations for better advocacy and communication of opportunities:

Utilize social media and online platforms: RNs and APRNs can use social media and online platforms to raise awareness about policy-making opportunities. They can share information about upcoming events, internships, and fellowships, as well as interact with colleagues via online forums or discussion groups. By utilizing these platforms, nurses can reach a larger audience and encourage more of their peers to participate in policymaking (American Nurses Association, 2021).

Example: A nurse could start a LinkedIn group dedicated to discussing health policy issues and promoting available opportunities. They could share resources, events, and experiences to encourage and support their colleagues’ participation in policymaking.

Create and promote opportunities for policy engagement through collaborative partnerships with academic institutions and healthcare organizations: Nurses can create and promote opportunities for policy engagement through collaborative partnerships with academic institutions and healthcare organizations. These collaborations can provide nurses with resources, expertise, and support to ensure that they are well-prepared to participate in policymaking (Institute of Medicine, 2011).

An APRN, for example, could collaborate with a local university to create a health policy course or workshop for nurses that could be promoted within healthcare organizations and through professional nursing associations. This collaboration would not only raise awareness about policymaking opportunities but would also provide nurses with the necessary education and training to effectively participate in these opportunities.

References:

American Nurses Association. (2021). Policy & advocacy. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/policy-advocacy/Links to an external site.

Institute of Medicine. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. National Academies Press.

Rushton, C., Williams, C., Paparella, S., & Kelley, S. (2018). Health policy leadership for nurses. Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(7-8), 365-367.

Smolowitz, J., Speakman, E., Wojnar, D., Whelan, E. M., Ulrich, S., Hayes, C., & Wood, L. (2015). Role of the registered nurse in primary health care: Meeting health care needs in the 21st century. Nursing Outlook, 63(2), 130-140.

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.

*Note: Throughout this program, your fellow students are referred to as colleagues.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 8 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 8

To participate in this Discussion:

Week 8 Discussion

 

NRSE 6050 Week 8 Discussion

Potential opportunities that may exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in the policy-making process.

The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

Nurses may affect policies in a particular way. Nurses are solvers and communicators of the issue and are capable of collecting information, mobilizing communities, and making demands of normal policy-makers for nursing. By informing and influencing lawmakers, nurses may engage in decision making to alter laws and promote legislation.

Each nurse will take an interest in policy-making since they are influenced by most policies implemented (Williams & Phillips, 2018). APRNs and RNs will take an active part in policy-making in different ways. APRNS and RNs will be active in decision formation for the first time by advocacy. By the principles of advocacy, any person affected by a particular policy has the right without limits to express an opinion.

APRNs and RNs should comprehend that they have the opportunity to communicate their assessments on any policy that may influence them. The advocacy opportunity guarantees that there is no any nurse who is denied the opportunity to communicate his/her assessment on a specific policy. The subsequent opportunity held by the APRNs and RNs to be engaged with policy-making is through leadership.

An APRN or RN has a leadership job that requests cooperation in policy-making (Chilton, 2015). APRNs and RNs should scrutinize the policy detailing, usage, and some other policy processes certainly. If an APRN or an RN has any issue or question concerning a specific policy, he/she can educate the leaders about it.

Various challenges will undoubtedly confront the advocacy opportunity for APRNs and RNs. To begin with, there are issues with gender equality concerning advocacy. There are times when male APRNs and RNs can be precluded the opportunity from securing communicating their thoughts and suppositions on a given policy, particularly on the off chance that it is intended for ladies. Besides, there is the challenge of rivalry for assets about the advocacy opportunity (Williams & Phillips, 2018).

The opportunity for leadership jobs held by APRNs and RNs likewise has its challenges. To begin with, there is the challenge of changing leadership styles and abilities as various leaders have different leadership styles and accept. Additionally, there is the challenge of communication as certain associations might not have the correct communication channels where the APRNs and RNs can air their interests concerning a given policy.

Various recommendations can be utilized to advocate better or impart the presence of the opportunities for APRNS and RNs in policy-making. To begin with, there is powerful training. It is significant for all the nurses to be prepared and taught on the rights that they have about policy-making. Also, nurses should consistently advance and promote good leadership (Joel, 2017). With great leadership, the APRNs and RNs have the space to air their sentiments and thoughts with regards to policy-production.

Third, nurses should be searchers of data and guarantee that they utilize their expert gatherings to air their sentiments and thoughts with regards to policy-production. It is significant that nurses bolster other medicinal services experts and lawmakers through teaching and pushing for a policy that best serves our patients, families, and communities.

References

  • Chilton, L. (2015). Nurse Practitioners Have an Essential Role in Health Policy. Journal for Nurse Practitioners.
  • Joel, L. A. (2017). Advanced Practice Nursing: Essentials for Role Development. F.A. Davis.
  • Williams, S. D., & Phillips, J. M. (2018). Nurse Advocacy: Adopting a Health in All Policies Approach. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.

RE: Discussion – Week 8

 

Health systems are developing rapidly as well as changing. As a part of this system, nurses are expected to live up with these changes. Therefore, nurses are expected to influence the formulation of health policies rather than just implementation of them. Then, they need to be active in the development of health policies to be better able to control their practice.

Nurse leaders during this process have a very important role. They need to acquire policy-making skills to address professional challenges. Because of their values, professional ethics, advocacy skills, and experiences, nurse leaders have unique and valuable views toward health policies. There has been increasing growth toward nurses’ presence, role, and influence in health policies during recent decades.

Nurses are expected to identify the issues deliberately and work with other decision-makers to advance health care policies. They should understand the levels of power, and know who controls the resources of health services in their organizations. Therefore, we can go ahead and say that nurses have to be involved in policies that affect patients, families, themselves, and the whole health care system (Arabi, Rafii, Cheraghi & Ghiyasvandian, 2014).

Nurses are the members of the largest profession in the health system with a comprehensive care approach. Nevertheless, they play a minor role in health policy advocacy in the United States (Lewinski & Simmons, 2018). Nurses significantly impact the health system’s effectiveness and play an essential role in health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, and care. The potential opportunities that may exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in the policymaking process is by creating a suitable platform and engaging in the legal issues to increase the legal powers of nurses and writing to federal and states policy maker representatives about improving the economic growth of societies and achieving social justice and equality in access to health services policy bills that nurses have filed. Nurses must be trained in politics, participate in city committees and assemblies, nominate for local office, and even practice the right to vote can affect healthcare policy (Welliver, 2016). Nursing has always been affected by the health sector’s federal or state-level policymaking process. Therefore, RNs and APRNs must be members of nursing organizations to actively participate in policymaking since nursing organizations can lobby on behalf of patients for patient advocacy.  

Challenges that opportunities may present  

          The significant challenges in the policymaking of the nursing profession at federal or state levels can be named defective upstream policies and lack of mutual dialogs and understanding of the requirements of the nursing profession by the legislators, and weakness in the implementation of policies. The challenges in policymaking at an organizational level include policymakers’ need for knowledge and skill competency, lack of understanding between health policy and health advocacy, and limited healthcare policy education (Welliver, 2016).  

Two strategies to better advocate and participate in policymaking  

          Appropriate strategies are necessary to solve these challenges, such as periodic review and identification of required policies which increases the effectiveness and implementation capability of the policy. Another strategy nurses might overcome these challenges is by improving society’s public image to ensure and accept nursing services by strengthening the inner confidence of nurses and increasing their presence in scientific societies and healthcare organizations. Nurses have more opportunities to participate in policymaking.

Another strategy to better advocate and communicate the existence of opportunities would be paying attention to efficient policies in the nursing field and active interaction with the media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to achieve a positive professional identity and public belief (ANA Social Media Principles, 2017). For instance, by using social media, nurses can approach other nurses and engage in policy discussion debates with their colleagues to inform them about nurses’ role in policymaking health strategy development.   

 References: 

ANA Social Media Principles. (2017, October 14). ANA. https://www.nursingworld.org/social/

Links to an external site. 

Lewinski, A. A., & Simmons, L. A. (2018). Nurse Knowledge and Engagement in Health Policy Making: Findings From a Pilot Study. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 49(9), 407–415. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20180813-06

Links to an external site. 

Welliver, M. (2016, September 22). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. American Nurse. https://www.myamericannurse.com/nursing-professions-potential-impact-policy-politics/

Reference:

  • Arabi, A., Rafii, F., Cheraghi, M. A., & Ghiyasvandian, S. (2014). Nurses’ policy influence: A concept analysis. Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research19(3), 315–322.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Firstly, it is true that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to more individuals being insured, contributing to a decrease in unnecessary ER usage. However, this has yet to translate to a reduced demand for nurses. The aging population, coupled with increased access to healthcare, is projected to lead to an increased demand for nurses across all specialties.

Regarding the shortage of nurses, while it may be true that there is a shortage of nurses willing to work in some regions of the highest need, there is also a more general nursing shortage that is expected to worsen over time. Working in a psychiatric hospital, the nursing shortage has been a significant challenge. Psychiatric nursing requires specialized skills and knowledge to care for individuals with mental health disorders. The need in my facility has led to many negative consequences for patients, including decreased access to care, longer wait times, and lower quality of care. It has also increased nurses’ stress and burnout, further exacerbating the shortage.

In conclusion, the nursing shortage has significantly impacted the healthcare industry, including psychiatric facilities. While there may be some nuance to the shortage, the overall trend is increasing demand and a limited supply of qualified nurses.

 Rubric Detail

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  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

Main Posting

Points Range: 45 (45%) – 50 (50%)
  • Answers all parts of the discussion question(s) expectations with reflective critical analysis and synthesis of knowledge gained from the course readings for the module and current credible sources.
  • Supported by at least three current, credible sources.
  • Written clearly and concisely with no grammatical or spelling errors and fully adheres to current APA manual writing rules and style.
Points Range: 40 (40%) – 44 (44%)
  • Responds to the discussion question(s) and is reflective with critical analysis and synthesis of knowledge gained from the course readings for the module.
  • At least 75% of post has exceptional depth and breadth.
  • Supported by at least three credible sources.
  • Written clearly and concisely with one or no grammatical or spelling errors and fully adheres to current APA manual writing rules and style.
Points Range: 35 (35%) – 39 (39%)
  • Responds to some of the discussion question(s).
  • One or two criteria are not addressed or are superficially addressed.
  • Is somewhat lacking reflection and critical analysis and synthesis.
  • Somewhat represents knowledge gained from the course readings for the module.
  • Post is cited with two credible sources.
  • Written somewhat concisely; may contain more than two spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Contains some APA formatting errors.
Points Range: 0 (0%) – 34 (34%)
  • Does not respond to the discussion question(s) adequately.
  • Lacks depth or superficially addresses criteria.
  • Lacks reflection and critical analysis and synthesis.
  • Does not represent knowledge gained from the course readings for the module.
  • Contains only one or no credible sources.
  • Not written clearly or concisely.
  • Contains more than two spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Does not adhere to current APA manual writing rules and style.

Main Post: Timeliness

Points Range: 10 (10%) – 10 (10%)
  • Posts main post by day 3.
Points Range: 0 (0%) – 0 (0%)
  • Does not post by day 3.

First Response

Points Range: 17 (17%) – 18 (18%)
  • Response exhibits synthesis, critical thinking, and application to practice settings.
  • Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.
  • Responses to faculty questions are fully answered, if posed.
  • Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by at least two scholarly sources.
  • Demonstrates synthesis and understanding of learning objectives.
  • Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.
Points Range: 15 (15%) – 16 (16%)
  • Response exhibits critical thinking and application to practice settings.
  • Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.
  • Responses to faculty questions are answered, if posed.
  • Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by two or more credible sources.
  • Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.
Points Range: 13 (13%) – 14 (14%)
  • Response is on topic and may have some depth.
  • Responses posted in the discussion may lack effective professional communication.
  • Responses to faculty questions are somewhat answered, if posed.
  • Response may lack clear, concise opinions and ideas, and a few or no credible sources are cited.
Points Range: 0 (0%) – 12 (12%)
  • Response may not be on topic and lacks depth.
  • Responses posted in the discussion lack effective professional communication.
  • Responses to faculty questions are missing.
  • No credible sources are cited.

Second Response

Points Range: 16 (16%) – 17 (17%)
  • Response exhibits synthesis, critical thinking, and application to practice settings.
  • Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.
  • Responses to faculty questions are fully answered, if posed.
  • Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by at least two scholarly sources.
  • Demonstrates synthesis and understanding of learning objectives.
  • Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.
Points Range: 14 (14%) – 15 (15%)
  • Response exhibits critical thinking and application to practice settings.
  • Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.
  • Responses to faculty questions are answered, if posed.
  • Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by two or more credible sources.
  • Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.
Points Range: 12 (12%) – 13 (13%)
  • Response is on topic and may have some depth.
  • Responses posted in the discussion may lack effective professional communication.
  • Responses to faculty questions are somewhat answered, if posed.
  • Response may lack clear, concise opinions and ideas, and a few or no credible sources are cited.
Points Range: 0 (0%) – 11 (11%)
  • Response may not be on topic and lacks depth.
  • Responses posted in the discussion lack effective professional communication.
  • Responses to faculty questions are missing.
  • No credible sources are cited.

Participation

Points Range: 5 (5%) – 5 (5%)
  • Meets requirements for participation by posting on three different days.
Points Range: 0 (0%) – 0 (0%)
  • Does not meet requirements for participation by posting on 3 different days.

Total Points: 100

RE: Discussion – Week 8

 
 

Nurses should be a component of the policy review process to enhance their careers, care delivery, and better their organizations’ ability to offer primary care interventions. Imperatively, the first opportunity for nurse to be part of the policymaking is through participation in meetings to discuss policy matters.

Through these fora, RNs and APRNs can influence other stakeholders to understanding healthcare issues better and existing challenges so that they can develop frameworks to address any shortcomings or improve on better practiced for quality care delivery (Joel, 2017). Through the meetings, nurses can offer insights on what should be done to reduce cost of healthcare among other issues.

The second opportunity is through being members of professional organizations like the American Nurses Association. These entities collect data and disseminate it through giving information and knowledge to their members to improve policies and patient outcomes (Milstead & Short, 2019). Professional organizations give nurses the opportunity to review policies and apply evidence-based practice research to inform of the best practice interventions to enhance care delivery.

Challenges in these opportunities include the limited time that may constraint nurses from going for professional meetings and conferences to horn new trends and nursing skills. Secondly, joining professional associations like the ANA poses challenges to nurses and one among these is the availability of diverse opinions that one may not agree with and find not compatible to their perspective (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). Evaluation of health policies may also encounter limited resource allocation. More fundamentally, lack of knowledge on the use of EBP among nurses may hinder its effectiveness.

Strategies to communicate better and advocate for policy reviews are important. These include deployment of research on health policy to help determine ways to improve care. Nurses can also use available resources to ensure that they are effective in their communication and interactions with other stakeholders (Milstead & Short, 2019). Training and education can also help them understand policies much better and disseminate knowledge to stakeholders.

References

  • Joel, L. A. (2017). Advanced Practice Nursing: Essentials for Role Development. F.A. Davis.
  • Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Schaeffer, R., & Haebler, J. (2019). Nurse Leaders: Extending your policy influence. Nurse Leader, 17(4), 340-343. doi 10.1016/j.mnl.2019.05.010

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

When talking about the healthcare professionals, the roles of nurses, either the registered nurses (RNs) or the advanced nurse practitioners APRNs) can not be underrated. Nurses offer a unique, expert perspective on every aspect of the health care system and have an important voice in efforts to improve health (American Nurses Association [ANA], n.d.).

Based on this, their involvement in the policy-making process is very paramount. The participation of the nurses in policy-making will facilitate patient care delivery. RNs’ and APRNs’ influence in health policies protects patient safety, increases the quality of care, facilitates their access to the required resources, and promotes quality health care (Arabi et al., 2014).

Nursing organizations promote active participation by nurses in policymaking. For instance, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing emphasizes the role of nursing in the policy. For example, many educational programs incorporate policymaking into their curriculum. The National League for Nursing and the American Nurses Association also expect nurses to address policy as part of their professional role (Burke, 2016a).

How Nurses Can Partake in Policy-Making Process

A few of the numerous ways a nurse can partake in policymaking process are reading through pieces of literature and learning how policy is developed. Also, one should seek out policy areas one wants to influence, search the internet, research, and contact nursing organizations that participate in policy development. Nursing organizations and organizations such as AARP have multiple user-friendly internet sites that provide information about participating in policymaking activities (Burke, 2016b).

Another way to become actively involved in policymaking is to meet with both local and state legislatures. Also, nurses can become actively involved in policymaking by becoming a nursing organization member such as American Nurses Association (ANA) or any other nursing professional organization (ANA, n.d.).

Challenges in Policy-Making Process

As there are many opportunities to get involved in the policymaking process, so are some challenges. One of those challenges includes difficulty in getting the ideas/agenda to the floor of the house. To overcome this challenge, one must be sure that he/she is knowledgeable with evidence-based facts regarding the issue before presenting to the policymakers.

Involving the media is another way to get one’s agenda to the floor of the house and finally passed into law. Disseminating the information through social media brings the issue to the public’s awareness, which in turn pressurizes the law makers. Social media can support nursing campaigns and help the profession build relationships with key stakeholders to influence policy and political processes (O’Connor & Holloway, 2019).

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

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Thank you for sharing. It was an insightful post. The health sector has undergone significant structural transformations accentuating the constraints of nursing work. These constraints expose nursing staff to stress and have a considerable impact, in the long term, on their well-being at work and the quality of care.

As nurses, the daily challenges we are highly concerned that heavy workloads and insufficient resources, overwork, and stress related to the work environment, especially during the pandemic are the factors leading to an increase in the number of nurses leaving the profession. 

Governments must immediately mitigate the risk of increased nursing staff turnover and retain nurses better.

I have been a travel nurse for the last five years and noticed that the workload and complexity of patients are much higher for travel nurses than for core employees. Unfortunately, the facility doesn’t prioritize patient safety or quality of care, which is concerning. All these consequences will negatively affect patient care. 

I support the implementation of new strategies to improve patient care and outcomes. Nurses should be encouraged to engage with policymakers, become patient advocates, and work towards changing laws and regulations to enhance patient safety and respect; attending seminar events can be beneficial and improve the position of patients in the healthcare system, especially in training future healthcare professionals. This can be achieved by creating a new educational collaboration involving patients in training. This includes designing educational sequences, conducting tutorials, and evaluating nurses with the help of patients. Additionally, it is crucial to define patients’ status, remuneration, and role in the educational system. Finally, nurses should be trained to adjust their approach in the collaborative caregiver-patient relationship, which can trigger new perspectives on healthcare; they emphasize the help they can provide to nurses to novice nurses faced with new and delicate situations.

Getting involved with a professional nursing organization is one of the simplest ways for a nurse to become involved in public policy. According to the American Nurses Association (n.d.), joining a professional organization leads to the creation of a unified voice on policy. This is vital, as changing policy involves multiple opinions that are established under one voice. Participating in policy-making can be overwhelming for an individual, so becoming a part of a larger organization can aid in overcoming that barrier.

However, this advocation opportunity can present a financial hurdle as professional organizations operate under a for-profit membership model. Additionally, time constraints and a lack of inclusion are challenges when joining a professional nursing organization. The potential lack of diversity among members and leadership may create a sense of not belonging. To assure that I actively participate in this opportunity, I would do my research to ensure that I was joining an organization that aligned with my personal and political values. Additionally, I would explore what my maximum time commitment could be.

The purpose of public policy involvement is to direct problems to the government’s attention (Milstead & Short, 2019). At a local level, nurses can become involved in policy-making by contacting their elected officials about potential legislation that affects the healthcare field. This is an opportunity that takes minimal time, and resources. Additionally, this allows nurses to communicate about the issues that truly matter and will impact them. However, this method of policy involvement may require some nurses to move outside their comfort zone. For those that are uncomfortable talking on the phone, reaching out to policymakers via email or mail may be preferable. The transformation of nursing practice is commonly done through the construction of shared professional governance infrastructure and distributive decision-making (Porter-O’Grady, 2019). As legislators hear nurses’ voices directly, laws will be changed and created to favor their opinions.

Communication is required to increase advocacy in our professional field (Barton, 2018). When joining a professional organization, I would discuss the membership process with coworkers and friends. I would regularly elaborate on the opportunities that the organization has afforded me while encouraging those around me to get involved in a professional organization themselves.

Moreover, I would advocate for others to get involved in policy-making by encouraging conversation related to the current issues within our professional field. By openly discussing the need for or impact of potential legislation more nurses will be encouraged to reach out to their local representatives.

American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Practice & advocacy. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/

Barton, A. J. (2018). Leadership and communication competencies in nursing: What are we missing?. The Journal of Nursing Education, 57(5), 259–260. https://doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20180420-01

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

Porter-O’Grady, T. (2019). Principles for sustaining shared/professional governance in nursing. Nursing Management, 50(1), 36-41. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NUMA.0000550448.17375.28

RE: Discussion – Week 8  

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Top of Form 

“Nurses’ influence on health policy protects the quality of care by access to required recourses and opportunities” (Arabi et al., 2014). Registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) have an important role in policy-making. Nurses involved in policy-making are influential, professional, responsible, and are advocates for people and the healthcare system (Burke, 2016).  

There are ways that RNs and APRNs can get involved in policy-making. Per Milstead and Short (2019), nurses and APRNs develop contact with legislators by groups such as the House Nursing Caucus and the Senate Nursing Caucus. These groups have the responsibilities of educating legislators on the issues important and impacting issues impacting America’s health system and nursing as a profession (American Organization for Nursing Leadership, n.d.).

One international caucus nurse’s or APRNs can join is the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL). These nurses or APRNs are shaping health care through innovation and expert nursing leadership, giving nurses the opportunity to work directly with legislators and voice their opinions and experience in policies impacting nurses throughout the United States (American Organization for Nursing Leadership, n.d.).

A state level way for Missouri nurses or APRNs to get involved in policy making is to join the Missouri Nurses Association (MONA). MONA gives RNs and APRNs in Missouri the ability to speak and act for the nursing profession to promote and enhance safe and accountable nursing practice (Missouri Nurses Association, n.d.). These nurses or APRNs work as a group to contact their local legislators and supply testimony in expert insight to advocate in support or opposition to policies affecting Missouri nurses, nurse practice, or healthcare.  

While being able to get involved with legislation and policy making as an RN or APRN, there are obstacles. Some of these challenges may include schedule, money, personal afflictions, varying education levels of the nurses involved, lack of diversity among the nurses involved, or lack of opportunities for advancement (Denker et al, 2014). Although there are barriers for these nurses or APRNs, there are ways to overcome these barriers.

If schedule, money, or lack of opportunities for advancement is an issue, these nurses could seek out a job that directly involves them in the policy making process, making it a career for these nurses. If these barriers were an issue for me, I would try to seek out a position within my current hospital that would directly involve me in policy implementation within the hospital system. This would give me the opportunity to focus on policy making within legislation and be more up-to-date and relevant with the information. Nurses involved in policy making need to have a single, strong voice.

To overcome personals afflictions, it is important to work as a strong coalition (Denker et al., 2014). Considering everyone has their own personal opinions, it is important to consider what is best for all nurses, not just one. As David Benton said, “If each nurse would take every opportunity to learn from the experiences of colleagues throughout the world and to initiate and influence policy development, we would have the expertise, strength, and knowledge to lead the world to better health” (Denker et al., 2014). To overcome diversity and varying education level issues, these positions need to be inclusive with well-defined roles for all people, men, women, people of other races, and those of different education levels.  

To advocate or communicate these opportunities for nurses or APRNs to be involved in policy making, I would help to advertise for MONA and recommend MONA and getting involved with these organizations. Many people do not know about these opportunities for involvement. When I was in nursing school obtaining my bachelor’s, we were required to join MONA for a day. I had no idea what MONA was or the purpose of it, but getting involved and speaking with legislators, I understood the importance for nurses to get involved. MONA is not well advertised in Missouri.

Promoting MONA beyond colleges and schools would be to advertise it at nursing facilities and have the Missouri State Board of Nursing continue to add information about MONA in their newsletter and their website. Next, I would promote these opportunities to nurses who are uncomfortable with new legislation or requirements for nurses. Those who feel directly affected by legislation should become involved so they can feel like they are helping with adequate policy for nurses.   

References 

American Organization for Nursing Leadership. (n.d.). Congressional nursing caucus. https://www.aonl.org/advocacy/resources/congressional-nursing-caucus 

Arabi, A., Rafii, F., Cheraghi, M.A., and Ghiyasvandian, S. (2014). Nurses’ policy influence: A concept analysis. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research 19(3), 315-322. 

Burke, S.A. (2016). Influence through policy: Nurses have a unique role. https://nursingcentered.sigmanursing.org/commentary/more-commentary/Vol42_2_nurses-have-a-unique-role#:~:text=Through%20policy%20work%2C%20nurses%20can%20and%20should%20influence,impact%20resource%20allocation%20to%20support%20delivery%20of%20healthcare. 

Denker, A., Medina, P., Yore, M., Leonard, T. (2014). Addressing barriers in leadership for nurses: A toolkit for nurses to shape the future of healthcare through nursing leadership. https://campaignforaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Addressing-Barriers-in-Leadership-for-Nurses-FL.pdf#:~:text=not%20present%20%20%20Question%20%20%20,%205.57%25%20%20%2012%20more%20rows%20 

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

Missouri Nurses Association. (n.d.). Welcome to the Missouri nurses association! https://missourinurses.org/  

Given that there are more nurses than any other profession in healthcare, it is only natural that nurses should play a larger role in creating healthcare policy. Key organizations are articulating the need for nurses to become more involved in leadership, advocacy and policymaking. Consequently, the need for nurses to receive more training about leadership in connection to their role for influencing health policies is emphasized. There also needs to be a greater effort to grow a cadre of health policy nurses and help everyone in the nursing profession understand how nurses can effectively impact health policy.

According to Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, more than ever, nurses are present in every healthcare setting and possess a unique role in formulating policy. The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recognized the importance of involving nurses in healthcare policy creation and called for nurses to take leadership in improving the quality of healthcare. Being actively involved in policy formulation is something that most leading nursing organizations advocate. Sigma also provides the examples of how the American Association of Colleges of Nursing emphasizes the role of nursing in policy and identifies, in its “Essentials” documents, the expected policy involvement that should be addressed in educational programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels of professional nursing, including advanced practice.

That being said, nurses nevertheless play an important role in health policy making. Nurses can use their local and state resources or national nursing advocacy groups to gain an understanding of current issues and learn how they can become involved. Many specialty nursing organizations have policy experts available as resources to beginning nurse advocates. They can help with preparing written or oral statements for hearings and may accompany nurses to hearings at the local state house or even on Capitol Hill.

Nurses are encouraged to participate in health policy for three reasons. First, nurses closely deal with patients and their families in a variety of settings; therefore, their comments can be considered as valuable sources for policy development. Second, different health policies have direct effects on nurses. Thus, policies should ensure a supportive work setting. Third, nurses play key role in professional development and can highly contributed to the formation of appropriate and efficient health policies.

There are many opportunities for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policymaking, but there are also many obstacles that can prevent them from doing so. Due to their expertise and knowledge-base background, nurses are taught to always advocate. This enables the political context to have an impact on the decision-making process regarding alterations in health care. In most cases, nurses have improved their communication and collaboration skills with other healthcare professionals, thereby enhancing the treatment provided to patients.

The opportunities in which both parties can engage are as follows: American Nurses Associations is a wonderful organization that allows nurses to be involved in policy changes that can enhance their working environment. There are numerous other nursing organizations, but I selected this organization because it enables nurses to express their concerns about their employment and propose changes that could be advantageous to them. If the policies are to be modified, the new policy will take effect promptly following the review process.

The second possibility I observed is the workplace. Both RNs and APRNs work together to provide high-quality patient care, and both have the responsibility to influence healthcare programs in the workplace.  The responsibility of RNs and APRNs is to promote and advocate for a patient’s health improvement. In order to provide care to patients, the workplace environment must be optimized, and care delivery must be efficient. This can provide the opportunity for senior management to participate in certain policy revisions.

Constraints: an organization’s ongoing membership fees like ANA, which can be annual or monthly, are a disadvantage. This can be a disadvantage if a nurse does not always have the opportunity to be actively involved and engaged due to personal obligations. To retain nurses, fees should be waived, and you should only pay when you are able to be active. Like a pay as you go plan.

There is occasionally a lack of communication from senior management regarding policy revisions, which can be indicative of poor leadership. This can have a negative impact on nurses because, if the communication is effective and policy changes are implemented without addressing the nurses’ concerns, they may not want to participate in future decision making. Through email, memos, meetings, etc., some solutions are constantly informing employees of any policy changes. Permit staff participation in order to foster confidence and excellent collaboration rapport.

Effective communication through increased staff meetings and trainings. I’ve observed that when nurse managers conduct more effective staff meetings that allow participation from all staff and build confidence. Additionally, more trainings provide nurses with the opportunity to advance their careers, preparing them for leadership opportunities and advancement, which enables them to question policies that can promote better health and well-being for their patients and themselves.

Promotion of effective leadership in these facilities and organizations. If these organizations are able to reduce their membership fees to a reasonable level, additional nurses will be more inclined to participate. This can enrich organizations with diverse perspectives on ideas and knowledge, which can lead to improved patient care and social changes.

For healthcare legislation to be successful and be evidenced based it is imperative that RNs and APRNs be involved in the policy-making process. By being involved in the initial stages of policy-making, nurses advocate for improvements that benefit both themselves and patients, i.e., policies that increase the scope of practice for APRNs to increase patient access to primary care providers (Milstead & Short, 2019).

One avenue that nurses can use to be a part of the policy-making process is their participation in a professional nursing organization such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). AANP members are involved in political advocacy committees that advocate policies like H.R 8812 ICAN Act which promotes improving patient access to health care by eliminating Medicaid and Medicare barriers to ARNP practice (AANP, 2022). Another way nurses can affect the policy-making process is through community advocacy in local groups or within their own organizations. By being involved at a local level in healthcare issues nurses draw public attention and can positively influence public perception (Milstead & Short, 2019).

While nurses are great advocates for patients, they face challenges in inserting themselves at the table of policy-making. The biggest challenge to overcome is the historically subservient nature of the nurse-physician relationship. Nurses report feelings of powerlessness within political spheres related to a perceived preference for male voices over nurses’ opinions (Rasheed, Younas & Mehdi, 2020). Another challenge for nurses is our perception as good implementers of policy which is a passive role and not as a policymaker which is an active role. Nurses have historically had low participation as policymakers and as members of committees that affect policy, however through education and empowerment that could be changed.

To improve nurses’ ability to be effective policymakers, nurse leaders should promote participation in professional organizations and organizational committees to their fellow nurses. Nurses should be educated on the importance of their voices and views and how they can be used for the betterment of others. When I first started with the VA, I didn’t participate in committees, and I wasn’t a part of a professional organization. However, as I moved to other positions within the organization, I came into contact with nurse leaders who both empowered and educated their nurses to be active in the policy-making process within our organization and would conduct training events to spread the word.     

Policy review or most widely known as policy evaluation is a process to do after a policy has been made.  According to the video file from Laureate Education, it stated that “Over the long haul programs and polices are evaluated to determine their effectiveness.  Program and policy evaluation is part of the policy process that may be overlooked or ignored altogether” (Laureate Education. 2018).  Nurses can help shape the care that will be given now and tomorrow, through influencing policies on practice standards and quality of care process (Burke, S.A. 2016).  

Opportunities for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review can be in terms of professional nursing organizations and in local communities such as the local hospital health committees.  One example of the professional nursing organizations that represent nurses for advocacy is the American Nurses Association (ANA) that engage in health policy, leadership and promote advocacy.  The ANA believed that “advocacy is a pillar of nursing.  Nurses instinctively advocate for their patients, in their workplace and their community, but legislatively and political advocacy is no less important to advancing the profession and patient care” (American Nurses Association. 2018).  Nursing organizations like the ANA will bring to the forefront in politics that are pertinent to specific health care policies that are important for policy review. 

Another opportunity is by joining a practice or policy committee in the hospital affiliated with.  That way, RNs can provide direct influence to the policies that impact the institution and its policies.  Through participation in the policy committee in the hospital, nurses can make opinions and policies heard by doing the policy review. 

Policy review has challenges too in which evaluating policies can lead to a good or bad review.  The challenges when the policies are implemented and would show if it is effective or efficient.  To overcome these challenges, nurses should make sure from the start of the policy implementation if it worked or not.  According to the video file from the Importance of Program Evaluation, it stated that “Evaluation is critically important.  If you can measure it, you won’t know whether it was effective or not.  There are two ways to measure it, efficiency or effectiveness.  If it worked, you want to expand it.  You want to get funding for it” (Laureate Education. 2018). 

Other challenges in policy reviews are the lack of resources to complete evaluation, lack of stakeholder collaboration, lack of comparative results, rapid pace of policy, demands for early results, request for further evaluation and social media or public opinion (Milstead, J.A., & Short, N.M. 2019). 

According to the book of health policy and politics, we can overcome these challenges by adopting strategies to minimize the evaluation challenges.  Resources are available to guide effective evaluation and offer solutions to common challenges (Milstead, J.A., & Short, N.M. 2019). 

Strategies to better advocate the policy review can be in terms of recognizing the importance of nurse engagement in health policy through advanced education such as the masters or doctorate degree of nursing.  Another strategy would be to advocate policy review through professional organizational activities in the community such as sending out surveys to the target population to know its effectiveness. 

In general, policy review is a way to know the effectiveness or not of the policy.  These are not without challenges but resources are available to overcome it.   

References 

American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Advocacy. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.nursinworld.org/practice-policy/advocacy 

Burke, S.A. (2016). Influence through policy: Nurses have a unique role. Reflections on Nursing Leadership. https://www.reflectionsonnursingleadership.org/commentary/more-commentary/Vol42_2_nurses-have-a-unique-role 

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Program Policy and Evaluation [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author 

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). The Importance of Program 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. 

   The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-making

            In nursing practice, RNs and APRNs may have opportunities that enable them to participate in the policy-making process. One of the opportunities is through their engagement in professional organizations. Nurses and advanced practice registered nurses can influence healthcare policy by becoming members of organizations that push for reforms in the field. These groups work tirelessly to improve patient care and the nursing profession. Involvement in these groups provides RNs and APRNs with opportunities to advocate for their profession, learn about policy issues, and work with others in the healthcare industry to propose solutions to other problems (Ferrier, 2022). While utilizing the opportunity through engagement in professional organizations, they can clearly shape the future of healthcare. Further, they can advocate for better policies that influence patient care using health literacy guidelines.

Secondly, nurses can serve on government committees to increase their chances of participating in the policy-making process. By sitting on government committees addressing healthcare-related problems, RNs and APRNs can have a voice in policy-making. Government authorities might visit these committees for advice and recommendations on healthcare policy, law, and regulation (Ferrier, 2022). Registered and advanced practice registered nurses see the healthcare system and patient requirements from a special perspective. Patients’ safety and care quality can both be enhanced by their participation in these panels. By establishing themselves in these networks, nurses can increase their influence in the policy-making process. When nurses participate in government committees, they often get new perspectives on policy-making, implementation, and evaluation, thus improving their chances of participation in the policy-making process.

Becoming involved in policy-making might be difficult because of the time and energy it usually takes. It can be challenging for RNs and APRNs to juggle their work with policy-related initiatives. They may also encounter pushback from interested parties who oppose policy shifts or have competing interests. Other challenges that can arise include limited knowledge and experiences, different perception and understanding of roles, lack of unity in the organization, and unwillingness to lead (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). Because of these obstacles, it may be hard for nurses and APRNs to have their opinions taken seriously and their suggestions adopted.

When RNs and APRNs face these challenges, there are some strategies that would be adopted to overcome them for them to better advocate for policy-making opportunities. One of the ways is through ensuring the RNs and APRNs stay informed. In order to advocate for policy changes, RNs, and APRNs must be abreast of emerging concerns and trends in the field. They can do this by being involved with policy-focused professional organizations, reading policy periodicals, and attending policy briefings (Scott & Scott, 2021). When they build their knowledge, they will be certain about what they will be advocating for and have the required courage and skills to influence others. In addition, they would build strong relationships among themselves, the organizations, and healthcare providers. Building relationships with policymakers and other stakeholders can help registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses boost their influence and overall effectiveness. Attending events such as meetings, conferences, and networking functions where key stakeholders and decision-makers will be present is one way to accomplish this goal.

RNs and APRNs can use appropriate strategies to better advocate for and communicate the existence of these opportunities in policy making. One of the ways is through participation in training and education programs. Education and training programs are available for RNs and APRNs to acquire the knowledge and abilities necessary to participate in the policy-making process. They can get the information and training from these programs that will help them effectively lobby for policy changes and interact with decision-makers (Myers, 2020). In addition, they can lobby for policy changes and inform their peers about policy-making opportunities through social media. They may inform and inspire their followers to take action on policy issues by regularly posting relevant content.

Registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses both have significant contributions to make to the formulation of healthcare policies. They can contribute to the formation of policies that improve the standard of care and the safety of patients if they join professional organizations or serve on committees within the government. Even though there may be obstacles to engaging in the process of policy-making, such as time limits and opposition from stakeholders, establishing relationships with policymakers and remaining educated can assist in overcoming these obstacles. In order to better advocate for policy-making opportunities or advertise their existence to other healthcare professionals, registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses should make use of social media and participate in education and training programs.

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