In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making. A critical component of any policy design is evaluation of the results. How comfortable are you with the thought of becoming involved with such matters?
Some nurses may be hesitant to get involved with policy evaluation. The preference may be to focus on the care and well-being of their patients; some nurses may feel ill-equipped to enter the realm of policy and political activities. However, as you have examined previously, who better to advocate for patients and effective programs and polices than nurses? Already patient advocates in interactions with doctors and leadership, why not with government and regulatory agencies?
In this Discussion, you will reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
- In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making.
- Review the Resources and reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that currently exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review. 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. Be specific and provide examples.
The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
Opportunities for RN and APRNs in Participating in Policy Review
One of the opportunities that exist for RN and APRNs to participate in policy review is ensuring that the policies that are promoted in their places of work are effective. If a certain implemented policy undermines the quality of care or does not accomplish its original intent, RNs and APRNs can swiftly decline it and request for its further review. Another opportunity that exists for nurses to participate in policy review is through direct political involvement through nursing advocacy (Brassard et al., 2020). Nurses with political knowledge can collaborate with members of the healthcare teams to deliver efficient patient outcomes.
Challenges that some of these Opportunities may Present and How to Overcome them
There are several challenges that are associated with the involvement of RNs and APRNs in policy review. In the first opportunity of participating in policy review, that is ensuring the effectiveness of the policies at their place of work, some inter healthcare professionals tend to undermine the ability of nurses to judge the situations that are available (Melander et al., 2018). For example, some physicians could feel that nurses do not have the capacity to decide how well a policy is working in a workplace. This struggle for power could be as a result of the fact that some healthcare givers are not willing to appreciate the fact that nurses are among the individuals who are closes to patients, and hence they are better placed to assess the patients. To solve this challenge, healthcare givers should be taught about the specific contributions of nurses to offering individualized care.
The sharp disconnect between politics and nursing is another challenge that undermines the opportunity of nurses to participate in policy review. Very few nurses have specialized in policy advocacy, and hence there is underrepresentation in the political forums. To solve this challenge, the available nurse legislators should advocate for ways in which more nurses can be encouraged to participate in advocacy issues.
Recommendation of Strategies to Advocate for the Existence of these Opportunities
In order for the nursing advocacy opportunities to exist in healthcare, there is need for nurse education about some of their contributions to policy review. It is important that they understand that they are responsible for executing and implementing some of the healthcare policies that help in improving nursing (Young, 2019). For instance, through continuous medical education (CME) exercises in facilities, nurses should be reminded that besides taking care of the patients and monitoring their conditions, they are required to monitor the effectiveness of some of the policies through monitoring the progress in the patient conditions.
Another recommendation to foster the existence of various opportunities for nurses is including policy education in the nursing curriculum. One of the main reasons why nurses fear becoming nurse legislators is because they do not have the political know how on the way they can go about the processes of legislation. As a result, there are not enough nurse legislators to advocate for nursing issues. Policy education also helps in assessing for the effectiveness of the policies, as the political background helps in efficient elaboration of policies in healthcare, and understanding the relations between policies and healthcare implementation practices.
Brassard, A., Quinn, W. V., Little, P., & Di Chiacchio, T. (2020). Advocacy for Nurses and Consumers. In Advanced Practice Nursing Leadership: A Global Perspective (pp. 313-326). Springer, Cham.
Melander, S., Hampton, D., Hardin-Pierce, M., & Ossege, J. (2018). Development of a Rubric for Evaluation of the DNP Portfolio. Nursing education perspectives, 39(5), 312-314.
Young, J. (2019). An Educational Strategy to Inform Legislators and Nurses about the Professional Nursing Role. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 50(4), 150-152.