Nurses Role in Health Policy
Discuss the Professional Nurse’s Role in Health Policy
Healthcare systems are ever-changing, and nurses must adapt to these changes as they are very important players in the health system. Therefore, nurses must be key figures during health policy formulation instead of just being there as implementors. Nurses should be actively involved in developing policies, enabling them to have control of their profession. Nurse leaders have a crucial role to play in this process. They have to be equipped with skills necessary for policy formulation that address professional challenges. Nurse leaders have a unique role to play in the formulation of health policies. This can be attributed to their professional ethics, values, and experience (Kelly et al ., 2017).
For the past few years, nurses’ role and presence in the formulation of policies have increased tremendously. Nurses are positioned to identify unique issues facing healthcare and influence decision-making processes in advancing healthcare. Nurses must know people in the position of power and who is in charge of managing resources. Therefore, nurses must be involved in policy formulation that affects the healthcare system and their families. Nurses’ influence in health policy formulation helps protect patient safety, increase healthcare quality, and facilitate access to available resources to promote quality healthcare. Nurses have an important role in primary care centers since they can be consulted on healthcare-related issues.
Nurses can influence health policies. This is, however, only possible if they know how healthcare systems operate. Nurses must be aware of policymakers, policy formulators, and political affiliations. Nurses advocate for improving health care quality, but most of them lack adequate organizational skills and personal initiative to advocate for patients’ rights. For nurses to empower patients, it is first critical to put measures in place to empower them. Their expertise, sound judgment, and policy influence are very useful in achieving their professional goals and facilitating the professional process and the general improvement of the healthcare system.
For nurses to influence policies, they must know about issues that affect healthcare. The role of nurses has evolved over the years, and they are no longer caregivers. Nurses no longer carry out prescribed orders; thus, nurses must be legislators for health matters and help develop practical policies. Many healthcare organizations worldwide are appreciating the importance of nurses’ participation in decision-making processes. They believe that nurses have a strong voice and can contribute sound ideas to improve healthcare quality (Çelik Durmuş & Kırca, 2020). Nurses have the power of numbers when they enter into the policy formulation process; hence, they can use their large numbers to influence policy formulations. Nurses are in direct contact with patients most of the time, so they have personal stories that affect patients. These stories can be used as powerful tools when approaching policymakers to either review or make new policies.
Nursing professional organizations also have an important role in policy formulation. They are in a better position to influence changes that individual nurses may not be able to. An example is the American Nurses have collaborated with other nursing associations to advance healthcare quality in the United States, as evidenced by their statements concerning mission and goals (America Nurses Association, 2018). This association also provides opportunities for nurses to sharpen their leadership skills. Another example is the Oncology Nurses Society, which emphasizes specific populations’ policies and provides learning opportunities for its members.
Professional associations also give their members the necessary experience to be knowledgeable on the issues affecting the profession. These groups can expand the nurses’ thinking and give them a broad view of local and nationwide professional issues. This kind of experience motivates nurses to take part in policy formulation. Most nursing associations do not participate in political activism. They, however, employ lobbyists to carry out their bid in lobbying for policy formulations. These lobbyists are experienced and can be able to help in forcing the government’s hand. Nurses can also voice their personal opinions and give information from their practice areas through active participation in professional organizations. All this will boost confidence in nurses, which will be useful when dealing with legislators and policymakers.
Nurses must then embrace all available options in the policy formulation process. They are taking opportunities and engaging in meaningful dialogues with their state leaders. Nurses are also becoming crucial sources of information for elected leaders, and they are showing leadership by participating in planning and decision-making processes. By collaborating with other healthcare professionals, nurses will succeed in lobbying for issues with minimal barriers.
Identify an Action Plan for Nurses to Increase Involvement
One way of increasing nurses’ involvement is by strengthening political knowledge by offering special educational programs in nursing. These formal programs can be useful to increase the political knowledge of nurses and nurse leaders. An example of such a program is the New York State Nurses Association’s Lobby Day, a dynamic nursing degree program (Zittel, 2018). This program corresponds to the needs of leaders, related groups, and students.
Communication skills are very important in policy formulation. Nurses’ communication skills can increase their influence on policy formulation. Measures need to be put in place to polish nurses’ communication skills. These can be achieved by setting up mentorship programs or encouraging nurses to attend short courses on communication skills that will enable them to air their views meticulously. Communicating well with others can attract people to their interests, making it easier to lobby for policies.
Teamwork is essential in policymaking. For policies to be successful, formulated support and hard work are needed, which can only be achieved through evidence-based decision-making. Nurses can be advised and influenced to join professional associations since this will create a framework for pulling ideas and increasing policy formulation’s success. Teamwork leads to the generation of creative ideas.
Strengthening the nursing profession’s public image is also key: Policy is all about perceptions and images. For policy influence to be successful, nurses have to strengthen mental images. In this area, the media plays a major role. Nursing associations can use mainstay media and social media platforms to increase nurses’ visibility; this will generate conversations and reach more nurses who will participate in public health discussions.
There is power in numbers; hence, employing more nurses will increase their involvement in policy formulation. An adequate workforce improves the healthcare system. Recruitment of more nurses will have a significant policy formulation. Nurses are always present at the patient’s bedside and will listen to patients’ stories. The information they receive can be passed along to the relevant legislators and policy formulators.
The duties of nurses should also be modified to increase their involvement in policy formulation. For a long time, the work of nurses has been at the bedside by the patient. This needs to be involved. Nurses need to be involved in more decision-making processes. This will improve their ability to give relevant feedback necessary for decision-making.
Improving nursing education to align with social needs is critical in improving their involvement in policy formulation. Healthcare systems are changing; hence, there is a need to improve nurses’ education and expand their roles. Nurses need to be encouraged to advance as practitioners and specialize in psychiatry, informatics, and pediatrics to be better placed to influence policy formulation.
Enabling structures can also be put in place to improve the involvement of nurses in policy formulation. This can involve enacting legislation that ensures nurses and nurse leaders must participate in policy formulation. The number of nurses involved in policy formulations can also be increased at the state and national levels.
Nurses have a very important role in policy. Their knowledge, skill set, and experience with patients place them in a unique role in influencing policy formulation. Additionally, there are many nurses, and there is power in numbers. With these numbers, they can influence policy formulation. Nurses are, however, still reluctant to participate in policy formulation, and hence, various can be done to improve their participation; these will involve the job descriptions of the nurses, encouraging them to join professional associations and mentorship programs, and putting in place legislation to improve involvement of nurses in policy formulations.
America Nurses Association. (2018, March). Plan Year 2018 Open Enrollment Period for Individual Health Insurance Coverage – Advocacy and Outreach Campaign. ANA Enterprise | American Nurses Association. https://epicmsdev.nursingworld.org/~495ff4/globalassets/practiceandpolicy/health-policy/2018-open-enrollment-final-report-03202018.pdf
Kelly, M., Wills, J., & Sykes, S. (2017). Do nurses’ personal health behaviours impact on their health promotion practice? A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 76, 62-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.08.008
Zittel, B. (2018). Passage of New York State legislation mandating academic progression toward the bachelor of science in nursing degree. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(2), 4-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2155-8256(18)30112-1
Çelik Durmuş, S., & Kırca, K. (2020). Leadership styles in nursing. Nursing – New Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.89679
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Role Of The Professional Nurse In Health Policy
Write a paper on the role of the professional nurse in health policy.
- Discuss the professional nurse’s role in health policy.
- Identify an action plan for nurses to increase involvement.
- The paper is to be clear and concise and students will lose points for improper grammar, punctuation and misspelling.
- The paper is to be no shorter than 5 pages; nor longer than 7 pages in length, excluding the title, abstract and references page.
- Your paper should be formatted per APA and references should be current (published within last five years) scholarly journal articles or primary legal sources (statutes, court opinions).
- Incorporate a minimum of 3 current (published within last five years) scholarly journal articles or primary legal sources (statutes, court opinions) within your work. Journal articles and books should be referenced according to current APA style (the library (Links to an external site.) has a copy of the APA Manual).
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