The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
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 The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
- Revisit the Congress.gov website provided in the Resources and consider the role of RNs and APRNs in policy-making.
- Reflect on potential opportunities that may exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in the policy-making process.
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.
Registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) have many opportunities to participate in policy-making. First, RNs and APRNs can join a professional nursing organization. According to Brokaw (2016), “These organizations often have lobbyists that bring nursing issues to Capitol Hill.” Second, nurses can write letters to state representatives regarding changes they want to see in health policy (Brokaw, 2016).
Nurses face several challenges when attempting to participate in policy-making. The biggest challenge may be finding the time to participate. Nurses work long hours and often have inconsistent schedules. Lack of support and education regarding health policy and politics present additional challenges (Brokaw, 2016). Nurses should be made aware of their ability to participate in the political arena. Support from colleagues and nursing informaticists would supply nurses with the confidence needed to take significant issues to the state or national level. A nursing informaticist provides support, communicates data, and aids in decision-making (Milstead & Short, 2019). Nurses can also take a formal class on health policy or do internet research to learn how to approach healthcare issues.
Political advocacy is essential to advance the nursing profession (American Nurses Association, n.d.). To advocate for opportunities to participate in policymaking, nurses should be aware of the opportunities. Communicating with colleagues about these opportunities is one of the most critical steps. From there, nurses can join organizations, bring health issues to the forefront, and even create nursing groups where issues are discussed. I believe there is strength in numbers. Having support from other nurses and nursing groups when pushing policies at the state or national level will empower nurses The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Advocacy. https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/advocacy/
Brokaw, J. (2016). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. American Nurse. https://www.myamericannurse.com/nursing-professions-potential-impact-policy-politics/
Milstead, J., & Short, N. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide. Jones & Bartlett.
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.
Your discussion this week had information that I agree with and discussed in my post as well. One common opportunity that I have seen in the class discussion is the participation of nurses in nursing organizations. Registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses have many organizations to choose from that fit their individual preferences. According to Crumley, professional organizations provide a variety of networking opportunities and educational resources. They advocate to advance nursing practice and to improve the health of populations, communities, and individuals (2020). Nurses are sometimes overlooked when it comes to their input in policymaking. According to the Australian Nursing Journal, the International Council of Nurses aimed for nurses from around the world who are active in politics to connect, share expertise, and strengthen nursing contribution to policy (2007). Nurses have a greater ability than what is shown to add to policymaking across the world The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
Australian Nursing Journal. (2007). Connecting nurse activists, 14(7), 25.
Crumley, C. (2020). The benefits of active engagement in nursing professional organizations: A view from here. Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1097/WON.0000000000000700
You provided several realistic points on why nurses struggle to participle in policymaking. As Brokaw (2016, para. 2) stated, “lack of awareness, inadequate skills, … little opportunity for involvement… limited formal health care policy education in nursing… time and resource are further obstacles to the nursing profession’s participation in politics.” With nursing being one of the largest medical professions in the world, we should be leading the way of the new design in healthcare (Brokaw, 2016). Except, as you stated, nurses work long hours, have inconsistent schedules, and typically has a family at home with a significant other that works opposite shifts than you to decrease monetary requirements for daycare. As a nurse we experience several issues within the healthcare design, some of us acknowledge the difficulties, while others push them to the side because we are burnt out.
As a nurse, we should reach out to additional support groups such as the American Nurses Association (ANA, n.d.), our nursing unions; if applicable, and colleagues. Several of these organizations and groups of people have experience with lobbying and creating policy changes, so they would be great resources to have on our sides. Plus, with numbers, typically you can make a change, just as you stated.
Another advantage for nursing these days is the readily available internet resources. Utilizing credible resources such as Congress.gov, we can validate if rumors are true regarding new policies or policy changes as well as who introduced the change (Congress.gov, n.d.). As we have learned, conducting our own research and having the ability to reach out to congressman/women, we can make a change or at least have them acknowledge different points of view. As they say, nurses can assist with change by providing stories and experiences with policymakers (Milstead & Short, 2019) and we should be aware of ways we can positively impact our healthcare system The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.nursingworld.org/membership/joinANA/?utm_source=googlead&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=acquisition_main&utm_term=membership&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1PSDBhDbARIsAPeTqrdI_U3fEMfP7JZj8BDnWlbZ4zCbLsbQ-fdMj0EuhkCUhV4CBg_x5GQaAt-XEALw_wcB
Brokaw, J. (2016). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. American Nurse. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.myamericannurse.com/nursing-professions-potential-impact-policy-politics/#:~:text=At%20the%20state%20and%20federal,state%20representatives%20regarding%20healthcare%20policy.
Congress.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2021 from https://www.congress.gov/
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.