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NSG 4068 Week 2 Project – Nurses Role in Influencing the Legislative Process

NSG 4068 Week 2 Project – Nurses Role in Influencing the Legislative Process

Opportunities For Nurses to Influence the Lawmaking Process

Nursing is one of the most trusted careers. Throughout history, nurses have played an important role in caring for their community and advocating for those in need. Nurses are often the “face” of healthcare as they spend the majority of their time doing direct patient care and impacting health outcomes. While nurses have sometimes taken a role in government and policy, there is much opportunity for leadership and involvement in creating health policy. Researchers write, “As a profession, nursing has a responsibility to be involved in health policy development to improve the health of people everywhere. However, nurses have not fully realized their potential when it comes to engaging in health policy, advocacy and leadership” (Turale & Kunaviktikul, 2019).

There are several opportunities for nurses to influence the lawmaking process. The most basic level of influencing policy-making is by being an informed constituent. Nurses can educate themselves on elected officials and their stance on healthcare policies. Nurses can use their voting power to elect those who will advocate and create policies to protect the nursing profession, their patients, and the community. Nurses can also join a professional organization like the American Nurses Association, ANA, which plays an important role in health policy creation.

Two Ways Nurses Can Influence Policy Making

The COVID-19 pandemic truly created a climate where nurses truly felt it was their duty to influence policy and call out safety issues they observed in hospitals and health systems across the United States. The first is bringing awareness of healthcare policy issues to the general public and governmental entities. Several times throughout the pandemic, nurses were observed testifying before councils and even Congress, bringing necessary attention to gaps and safety issues in patient care and lack of funding for public health issues. The second manner in which nurses can influence policymaking is actually taking an active role in creating health policy, using their skills and knowledge gained through nursing education, patient care, and advocacy. I believe that both advocacy roles are important when it comes to influencing health policy, but taking an active role in creating health policy is the most effective. As a nurse, if one has a passion for health policy and advocacy, there are many roles in which they can take an active role in creating policy.

NSG 4068 Week 2 Project – Nurses Role in Influencing the Legislative Process

Nurses and Addressing Social Determinants of Health

As nursing and health research increases the knowledge regarding social determinants of health, it has become evident that nurses should play a vital role in assessing and addressing socio-economic issues facing patients. Research shows, “Social determinants of health have not traditionally been integrated as a thread throughout most nursing education curricula, and this has prevented nurses from acquiring knowledge necessary to assess and address key drivers of health” (Thornton & Persaud, 2018). If nurses are able to connect their patients to resources to address socio-economic issues, health outcomes will improve. With access to better nutrition, transportation, and safe housing, individuals can live healthier and happier lives in their communities.

Nurses play a vital role when it comes to advocacy and addressing social determinants of health. Nursing school programs need to provide a better framework for addressing advocacy and social determinants of health in the nursing curriculum. Providing exposure to these issues and the role nurses play will allow for better assessment and involvement in influencing the legislative process.


Muetzel, L., Dye, M., O’brien, C., Milburn, S., & Rosselet, R. (2022). Nursing Government Affairs Advocacy Fellow: Introducing nurses to policy. Nursing2022, 52(10), 47-49.

Turale, S., & 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.

Thornton, M., & Persaud, S. (2018). Preparing today’s nurses: Social determinants of health and nursing education. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(3).


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NSG 4068 Week 2 Project – Nurses Role in Influencing the Legislative Process

For this week’s project, you’ll answer three questions related to your opportunity as a nurse and an advocate. The first two questions relate to influencing a bill is traveling through the legislative process. The third question refers you to the social determinants of health as described in your course textbook reading and asks you to think specifically about your role as a nurse in influencing social determinants of health.

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