Nursing is one of the largest professions globally, and as such, nurses have the potential to influence policy and politics on a global scale. When nurses
influence the politics that improve and change healthcare delivery, they ultimately advocate for their patients(Oestberg, 2013). Many opportunities
currently exist for RN’s and APRNs to actively engage in the policy review. Nurses have two different options through professional nursing associations or
by way of policy committees through their employers.
The first opportunity mentioned is by way of joining and becoming involved in professional organizations such as the American Nurse Association (ANA),
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), or American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). These organizations can all be utilized by
nurses to review policies. Professional associations safeguard any implemented procedure and are practical and favor nurses(ANA, n.d.). Additionally, RN’s
and APRN’s must have access to up-to-date resources to remain aware of what is happenings in healthcare policies, including within their states(Laureate
Secondly, RN’s and APRNs can actively participate in policy reviews with employers’ policy committees. Nurses can get involved in the unit council meeting
and engage in the introduction of new policies. Through this process, RN’s and APRNs can enhance the opportunities in the influencing of a policy review
by ensuring the policy promoted are effective in their workplace(Oestberg, 2013).
There are many challenges that RN’s and APRNs can encounter while participating in policy reviews in the workplace. One challenge is keeping RN’ and
APRNs are up to date on the policy changes and the trending policies pending implementation. One way to overcome this challenge is to be sure that staff
remains educated on differences and involve staff in what is working well or not so well with the new changes. Another challenge RN’s and APRNs may
face is working with individuals and lawmakers who are from different backgrounds and differ in opinions. They may be less receptive to ideas generated
by nurses simply because of nurses’ views of patients and the healthcare system as a whole(Oestberg, 2013). One way to overcome this challenge is to
learn how to speak in the lawmaker’s language and gather support from the public and your local representatives.
There are many strategies to communicate better when advocating policy reviews. One way to
Advocate for communicating the existence of opportunity is through training and good leadership. With adequate training through exemplary leadership,
nurses can better understand their roles and work environment. They care to implement new policies effectively to enhance the well-being of their
patients. Social media is another strategy to advocate the existence of opportunities. Through social media avenues such as Twitter and Facebook, nurses
can bring public awareness. Nurses can utilize these network groups to spotlight issues that are not being heard but need change.
ANA. (n.d.). Practice and policy | american nurses association (ana). https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/
Laureate Education. (2018). Program Policy and Evaluation [Video]. Baltimore, MD. https://class.content.laureate.net/c586db28e42b6ef832514de1d3fc37d7.html
Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Oestberg, F. (2013). Getting involved in policy and politics. Nursing Critical Care, 8(3), 48. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ccn.0000429392.92546.6f
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