NR 403 Week 8: Discussion: Health Policy and Ethics

I live in the state of New Jersey and our governor is Phill Murphy. I wanted to bring attention to bill A2364 AcaSca (2R) from session 2022-2023. This bill appropriates $813,000 to DHS to implement use of electronic benefit transfer cards in Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (New Jersey State Legislature, 2022).  The bill was signed and approved by Governor Murphy. Primary sponsors include William Spearman, Eliana Pintor Marin, Reginald W. Atkins, Linda R. Greenstein, and Theresa M. Ruiz (New Jersey State Legislature, 2022).  Co-sponsors include Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Annette Ouijano, Pamela R. Lampitt, Roy Freiman, Angela V. Mcknight, and Nellie Pou (New Jersey State Legislature, 2022).  The vote for approval was unanimous on 2/14/2022 (New Jersey State Legislature, 2022). Population health is addressed by this bill because it assists NJ seniors with accessibility to healthy foods that improve health outcomes and reduce disease. Social determinants of health are addressed by this bill by providing a way for seniors to gain access to healthy vegetables, fruits, and herbs that they may not have the income to afford.

This bill is federally funded to help provide locally grown fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs to eligible seniors aged 60 and above. Those who are qualified will receive five $5 checks during the growing season to purchase fresh vegetables and fruit at local roadside stands and community farmers markets across the state of NJ (New Jersey State Legislature, 2022). According to Phillips (2022) APNs are important partners in advocacy and health equity achievement. Nurse practitioners sit at the frontline for improving healthcare access to the underprivileged in our communities. Due to close exposure to individuals, populations, and underserved communities, NPs have a clear understanding of the poor health outcomes and complex social needs of community members that are not met. Health equity refers to the opportunity for everyone to have fair and equal ability to become healthy (Phillips, 2022). The goal of the nurse practitioner is to address social determinants of health (SDOH) that prevent health equity. The bill A2364 allows for assistance to be given to seniors in the community who may not have the income to purchase healthy fruits and vegetables. As a nurse practitioner having information about health policies can assist in referrals to help patients in my community. Bringing awareness is a form of advocacy because it allows me to educate my patients, make referrals, and provide information on current health policies that may change their life. Phillips (2022) explains that SDOH and health equity are interrelated and when SDOH is addressed it can help to improve health outcomes which support efforts in achieving health equity. Policy advocacy allows for nurses to help improve outcomes for the community they serve and to improve population health as a whole. When looking at the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics, provision 3 calls for the nurse to promote, advocate for, and protect the rights, health, and safety of the patient (American Nurses Association, 2015). Provision 8 of the ANA code of ethics states that the nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities (American Nurses Association, 2015). It is important to be aware of the ANA code of ethics because it calls nurses to a community level to advocate for their patients through integration of health policy, advocacy, and reduction of health disparities in our community. As a nurse practitioner we provide health care services, diagnose, and treat diseases. We serve as health care researchers, advocates, and involve ourselves in the integration of health policies that affect the care of patients in our communities. This is how NPs are involved in population health and the importance of our involvement.


American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics with interpretative statements. Silver Spring, MD: Author. Retrieved from

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New Jersey State Legislature. Bill A2364 AcaSca (2R) 2022-2023. (2022) (Enacted). to an external site.

Phillips. (2022). Policy advocacy and health equity. The Nurse Practitioner47(9), 38–43. to an external site.

    Thank you for sharing such an insightful post. The implementation of the A2364 AcaSca (2R) bill in New Jersey and the allocation of funds to implement electronic benefit transfer cards in the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a significant step towards improving access to healthy foods for this vulnerable population (New Jersey Legislature, n.d.). I loved how you incorporated the concept of advocacy in your discussion by stressing the importance of nurses in addressing the social determinants of health and working towards achieving health equity. According to research, as front-line healthcare providers, nurses are trained to recognize and respond to the limitations associated with community social needs, such as an inability to afford transportation, health disparities in care, and social factors such as food issues (Hassmiller & Wakefield, 2022). As such, as a nurse practitioner (NP), bringing awareness to this bill is a form of advocacy because, as you have highlighted, it allows you to educate your patients, make referrals, and provide information on current health policies that may change their lives.

            The enactment of this statute by the government of New Jersey also addresses population health as this policy would help elderly citizens in the state to have proper access to nutritious foods, which has been shown to enhance health outcomes and lower illness. Regarding the ANA code of ethics, as highlighted in provision 6 of the code, the nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care (ANA, 2018). As such, nurses, through their advocacy efforts for implementing the A2364 AcaSca (2R) bill in New Jersey, contributed to creating a healthcare environment that prioritizes access, quality, and safety for all individuals, including older adults.


American Nurses Association. (2018, July 20). Ethics. ANA. to an external site.

Hassmiller, S. B., & Wakefield, M. K. (2022). The future of nursing 2020–2030: Charting a path to achieve health equity. Nursing Outlook70(6), S1-S9. to an external site.

New Jersey Legislature. (n.d.). Bill A2364. Retrieved October 27, 2023, from to an external site.

Hello Professor and Class,

            The bill I chose to discuss stems from a series of bills enacted in New Jersey. Bill S3009/A4847, was signed into legislation by Governor Murphy in 2022, a revision of the bill initially enacted in 2015. Sponsors of the bill included Senators Joseph Vital, Vin Gopal, Nia Gill, Valerie Huttle, Annette Quijano, Patrick Diegnan, Sandra Cunningham, and Mila Jasey. This bill expands the provision of harm reduction services to provide intravenous drug users with sterile syringes, as well as certain support services (Zbarby, 2022). The bill will remove long-standing barriers to expanding access to lifesaving resources for individuals with substance use disorders. Professionals can help prevent HIV and hepatitis infections, as well as overdoses, associated with intravenous drug use while providing a safe, stigma-free environment in which to receive care.

The bill allows for harm reduction services that will allow Nurse Practitioners to educate the public about the adverse effects of substance abuse and consequently reduce the number of deaths associated with drug overdose. In accordance with the Nursing Code of Ethics, nurses are required to perform nursing responsibilities that are consistent with high-quality care and ethical obligations (American Nurses Association, 2020). Nurses must ensure that the rights of substance abusers are respected and that they receive an improved quality of care. This includes providing non-judgmental, compassionate care, advocating for their rights, and providing resources and education to help them make healthy decisions.

The bill assures patients’ rights are respected and that healthcare providers provide the needed resources and safer alternatives, which will impact and improve population health. Specifically, S3009/A4847 provides clean syringes to drug addicts in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other serious blood-borne illnesses. This bill also requires healthcare providers to provide counseling, education, and resources to individuals struggling with addiction. To maintain this level of care for the population the NP must advocate for the necessary resources. In addition to promoting the safety and quality of patients, patient advocacy also involves protecting patients, understanding their needs, providing quality care, building relationships, and educating them (Nsiah et al., 2019). To further improve the quality of care for these patients and to ensure that these programs are offered in all healthcare settings, NPs can advocate for policy changes to support this evidence-based practice. A healthcare provider can set policy agendas through an individual, a system, an institution, or on a public level (Porche, 2019). As such, nurses must be aware of Health Policy and the policy-making process in a variety of settings, including academia, clinical practice, communities, and various healthcare systems. Nurses must be knowledgeable about the policy-making process to advocate for the best interests of their patients and profession. They must be able to recognize the implications of different policies and be able to provide input to the policy process. Additionally, nurses must be aware of the current trends in health policy and be prepared to help shape the future of healthcare.


American Nurses Association. (2020). View of the Code of Ethics for Nurses. Retrieved from:

Nsiah, C., Siakwa, M., & Ninnoni, J. K. (2019). Registered nurses’ description of patient advocacy in the clinical setting. Nursing Open6(3), 1124–1132. to an external site.

Porche, D. J. (2019). Health policy: Application for nurses and other healthcare professionals (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

zbarby. (2022). Governor murphy signs legislative package to expand harm reduction efforts, further commitment to end new jersey’s opioid epidemic

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