Posted: January 12th, 2023
NURS 6050 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Policy-making is a key factor of having order in health care professions. There are a few ways that RNs and APRNs can contribute to policy-making. The first opportunity that exists is nursing associations or organizations. When nurses join these organizations, they analyze problems to create resolutions in nursing. According to Koehn, two “ordinary problem” policy issues are analyzed, with the examination of how nurses, individually and organizationally, collaborated and advocated to address these issues by triggering local, state, and national action by stakeholders (2020). There are various professional organizations for RNs and APRNs. Many professional nursing organizations have an explicit commitment to advancing health policy and have established a presence on social media platforms; yet, little is known about what policy topics professional nursing organizations choose to disseminate (Waddell,2019). According to Waddell, the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nursing are two organizations that often represent the voice of nurses in policy discussions (2019). Professional organizations warrant that any policy that is implemented is effective and that it has the best interest for nurses. The second opportunity is through administrations in workplaces. The RNs and APRNs are professionals who have the opportunities to sit on boards in facilities where policies are reviewed. According to Rasheed et. al, educational institutions and nurse leaders should adequately prepare nurses for policy-making, and nurses should participate in policy-making at the organization, system, and national levels (2020).Through their workplace, RNs and APRNs have a chance to influence a policy review by having the first-hand experience on if the policy is effective in their places of work NURS 6050 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
The professional organizations and associations may endure challenges when it comes to exposure and getting information out. Many people nowadays receive information thru social media platforms. According to Waddell, organization leaders and members should consider how social media content could enhance nurses’ policy participation and advance the dialogue about health and well‐being in the context of high‐stakes healthcare debates (2019). The opportunity of the workplace has its challenges as well. In most facilities, administrators are the prominent people in policy-making. According to Rasheed et. al, the extent of involvement was inadequate, and nurses mainly worked as policy implementers rather than as policy developers (2020). This statement signifies the limitations nurses may have in policy-making in certain facilities.
The two strategies that lead to better communication of the existence of these opportunities are proper training and self-sufficiency. According to Rasheed et. al, nursing institutions and regulatory bodies should prepare and encourage nurses to work as policymakers rather than implementers and advocate for the rightful place of nurses at policy-making forums (2020). With effective training for the nurses, they can better understand their roles and carry out the policies appropriately. Also, leaders of an organization determine whether the nurses will have a chance to review a given policy. Training and good leadership are key elements of a solid, knowledgeable nursing team NURS 6050 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
Koehn, K. (2020). Triggers for nursing policy action: Getting to the critical point to solving “ordinary problems” in nursing. Nursing Forum, 55(1), 11–15. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/nuf.12376
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. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/jnu.12567
Waddell, A. (2019). Nursing organizations’ health policy content on facebook and twitter preceding the 2016 United States presidential election. Journal of Advanced Nursing (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), 75(1), 119–128. https.//doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/jan.13826
Thank you for your post. I agree with you that joining professional organizations and sitting on boards enables nurses to help in policy making. According to Woodward et al. (2016), nurses possess many qualities that are easily transferrable to the political side. They are great communicators and advocates for their patients. Nurses have valuable expertise when drafting policies that protect and promote public health (Woodward et al., 2016). The nurse has direct contact with patients and understand the needs of the patient and the community. The three factors that influence the nurses participation in politics are political education in school, a personal interest in a topic, and membership in professional organizations (Woodward et al., 2016).
You had also briefly mentioned the use of social media platform. According to Roland (2017), using multimedia presentations on social media is a cost-effective way to promote health policy. There are millions of people that use social media on a daily basis and health messages could be easily disseminated. Some of the drawbacks of using social media can be the reliability of the information and it may act as a deterrent for a patient to seek care (Roland, 2017). I honestly believe that social media could be better used to educate the public about health.
Roland, D. (2017). Social media, health policy, and knowledge translation. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 15(1), 149-152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2017.09.009
Woodward, B., Smart, D., & Benavides-Vaello, S. (2016). Modifiable factors that support political participation by nurses. Journal of Professional Nursing, 32(1), 54-61. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2015.06.005 NURS 6050 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Word cloud generators have become popular tools for meetings and team-building events. Groups or teams are asked to use these applications to input words they feel best describe their team or their role. A “word cloud” is generated by the application that makes prominent the most-used terms, offering an image of the common thinking among participants of that role.
What types of words would you use to build a nursing word cloud? Empathetic, organized, hard-working, or advocate would all certainly apply. Would you add policy-maker to your list? Do you think it would be a very prominent component of the word cloud?
Nursing has become one of the largest professions in the world, and as such, nurses have the potential to influence policy and politics on a global scale. When nurses influence the politics that improve the delivery of healthcare, they are ultimately advocating for their patients. Hence, policy-making has become an increasingly popular term among nurses as they recognize a moral and professional obligation to be engaged in healthcare legislation.
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.
Respond to at least two of your colleagues’* posts by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.
One of the most apparent, and possibly one of the easier methods for registered nurses (RN) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to become active in policymaking is by joining nursing organizations. These organizations range from local or regional organizations to national organizations. Within these organizations are often members who work within the legislative process. “These organizations often have lobbyists that bring nursing issues to Capitol Hill” (American Nurses Association, 2016). These lobbyists can also act as an aid for nurses or advanced practice registered nurses to get their foot in the door with legislators to present the concerns they would like to address.
A second opportunity for registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses to participate in the policy-making process is to write to legislators. As discussed earlier in the semester, this is most effective if the nurse does research prior to and voiced their concerns to policymakers who have similar views on the concern (Laureate Education, 2018).
Challenges that inhibit nurses and APRNs include a lack of understanding in regard to the policymaking process. This may include lacking a full understanding of the relevant knowledge of the specific legislator the nurse is working with (Shariff, 2014). A strategy to overcome this barrier to policymaking would be for the RN or APRN to work with other members of their organizations who have previously done this. A second strategy is for the RN or APRN should also familiarize themselves with the legislators they plan to approach in order to invoke change. As discussed previously in the semester, nurses will be more successful in making changes if they have something to offer the legislator. The nurse or advanced practice registered nurse should find a way they can help the legislator while also pushing for change on the specific issue at hand (Laureate Education, 2018).
American Nurses Association. (2016, September 22). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. https://www.myamericannurse.com/nursing-professions-potential-impact-policy-politics/
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). The Policy Process [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Shariff, N. (2014, July 10). Factors that act as facilitators and barriers to nurse leaders’ participation in health policy development. National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4105513/
Nurses are known to implement policies and rather not be part of the formulation process, not because they are not good advocates but because they lack the awareness. I do agree with you; one of the barriers nurses face is political awareness. Nurses have the skills and courage; they advocate and fight for their patients and families (Anders, 2020). However, to get political confidence, there must be an effort made in the workplace to encourage nurses to participate in the policy-making process. Healthcare professionals need to have expert knowledge, communication skills, active listening, negotiation, and group processes to function in the pollical arena (Milstead & Short, 2019). Nurses are the largest profession in healthcare, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals will speak louder as there is power in numbers NURS 6050 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
Anders, R. L. (2020). Engaging nurses in health policy in the era of Covid-19. Nursing Forum, 56(1), 89-94.
Milstead, J. A., & Short, N.M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones Bartlett Learning NURS 6050 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
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