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Sample Answer for NURS 6050 Week 7 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making Included After Question
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.
- 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.
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.
*Note: Throughout this program, your fellow students are referred to as colleagues.
Submission and Grading Information
To access your rubric:
Week 8 Discussion Rubric
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 8
To participate in this Discussion:
A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 6050 Week 7 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Title: NURS 6050 Week 7 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Opportunities for RNs and APRNs in Policy Making
When you think of nurses, you envision a nurse in scrubs and gloves and providing hands-on patient care; however, there are countless different fields that nurses are essential members of. One of those is in the government and organizations being active members in policy making. During the Obama administration, a registered nurse, Marilyn Tavenner, became the first RN to lead the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, showing other nurses that opportunities expand to the government. Marilyn was not the only one; Patricia Horoho was made the first nurse to serve as Surgeon General in the United States Army. With their healthcare knowledge and passion for making changes in the government, they are great role models for other nurses who seek to make instrumental changes as they have. The US government is one of many places with opportunities for nurses; those interested in policymaking can find opportunities within their state. APRNs are essential when developing the scope of practice, determining reimbursement policies, and advocating for change. Some organizations include labor unions, and those on the board are often RNs and APRNs who seek to make policies to improve the working environment and safety among nurses (Milstead & Short, 2019, Chapter 5, p. 90).
There are many different reasons why nurses might want to avoid getting involved in policymaking. In 2021, a study was done to outline the factors that influence nurses’ participation in policymaking; they found the following challenges within this study. These include not having enough time to dedicate, not having enough political knowledge, and fear of opposing opinions, to mention a few (Hajizadeh et al., 2021). The biggest challenge was that nurses felt they lacked the political knowledge to make a difference. One way to overcome this is by recruiting nurses, offering educational courses, or something that would help nurses learn more about policymaking. Another big challenge was their lack of time; many had full-time jobs and families that took up their time, making it difficult to join an organization. This is challenging to find a solution for because what might work for one person only works for another. One option is to have monthly meetings, making them virtual and scheduling events beforehand, giving participants the time to plan accordingly. Another option is having different levels of involvement, having different areas someone can assist in, given the time they have to dedicate to the cause.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) plays a big part in policymaking at a federal and state level. They work with congress members to educate them on behalf of nurses and healthcare to help develop policies. The ANA also offers a federal advocacy program called RN Action for those interested in getting involved (Federal Advocacy, 2017). An excellent strategy to get interested nurses involved in a program such as RN Action is to make them aware early on, throughout nursing school, and by reaching out to them in the workforce. An article in the Nurse Journal outlines ten ways to get involved, including attending legislative sessions. One way to see if you are interested in getting involved is to attend a session; there, you can learn how decisions are made and understand the policymaking process. An excellent way to get others involved is by word of mouth, asking a co-worker or colleague to join a session.
Federal Advocacy. (2017, October 14). ANA. https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/advocacy/federal/
Hajizadeh, A., Zamanzadeh, V., Kakemam, E., Bahreini, R., & Khodayari-Zarnaq, R. (2021). Factors influencing nurses participation in the health policymaking process: A systematic review. BMC Nursing, 20. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-021-00648-6
Milstead, J. & Short, N. (2019). Health Policy and Politics: A Nurse’s Guide (6th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Morris, G. (2023, November 10). Ten ways nurses can get involved in policy. NurseJournal. Retrieved January 13, 2024, from https://nursejournal.org/articles/ways-nurses-can-get-involved-in-policy/
A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: NURS 6050 Week 7 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Title: NURS 6050 Week 7 Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
RNs and APRNs can influence nursing practice standards and processes to guarantee the quality of care through policy. Nurses who participate in policy-making influence the type of patient care provided today and in the future (Williams et al., 2018). Opportunities available for RNs and APRNs to actively contribute to policy-making include professional nursing organizations and investigating health policy agendas, and presenting them to legislators.
One of the primary roles of professional nursing organizations is to advocate for the nursing profession, nurses, and the community. Nursing organizations aim to influence the policy-making process by persuading or arguing within economic, political, and social systems and institutions for a cause that can contribute to decisions in resource allocation that promote nurses, nursing, and all of the healthcare (Williams et al., 2018). An RN/APRN can join a state or international nursing organization for their specialty and advocate for policies. However, the nurse will have to influence the organization’s members to support their proposed policy agenda for lobbying, which can be challenging.
An RN/ÁPRN can also investigate an issue affecting the community and propose a policy plan to address the problem sustainably. The nurse can present the policy proposal to their legislator and persuade them to introduce it as a bill for legislation (Doherty, 2019). Using this approach, the nurse will have to use their expert knowledge to influence the policy-making process (Doherty, 2019). However, this approach can be challenging when the legislator does not support the proposed policy agenda or is not cooperative.
I can communicate the opportunities to participate in policy-making to other nurses by writing an article and making a presentation at conferences. I can write articles explaining how nurses and the general public can participate in policy-making, such as contacting their legislators and presenting their proposals for policy agendas. Besides, I can make a presentation on opportunities for policy-making in conferences held by health and professional organizations (Williams et al., 2018). Using this approach, I will target nurses from various settings and draw ideas from other nurses who have participated in policy-making.
Doherty, W. J. (2019). Influencing policy through relationships with legislators. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12323
Williams, S., Phillips, J., & Koyama, K. (2018). Nurse advocacy: Adopting a health in all policies approach. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(3). https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No03Man01