Policy review opportunities for RNs and APRNs
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.
By Day 3 of Week 9
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.
Policy review opportunities for RNs and APRNs
Opportunities that currently exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review
Policy reviewing involves key stakeholders who are involved in decision-making processes to determine their interest in policy proposals and development (Milstead & Short, 2019). For RNs and APRNs, they have various opportunities in which they can participate in when it comes to policy reviewing and development. First, they can participate by ordinarily taking part in unit developmental meetings and engage in policy introduction processes (The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2019). For instance, for a health center that seeks to introduce new technologies, RNs can participate by presenting their expectations and proposing new ideas since they are mostly involved with the patients compared to other stakeholders.
Another opportunity is by becoming members and collaborating with other professionals in organizations such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP); this will ensure they participate in every step of policy analysis and implementation (Capitol Beat, 2019). For instance, during the design of the affordable care act, RNs and APRNs were encouraged to take part in the evaluation processes and the different phases of implementation (National League for Nursing, 2019). By taking part in such a proposal, RNs and APRNs help inform policymakers’ decisions and participate in reviews.
Challenges that these opportunities may present and how to overcome these challenges
As RNs and APRNs have access to various opportunities to take part in policy reviews, it is important to be aware of the possible challenges that such opportunities present. For instance, in policy implementation and review, they may be required to work with other lawmakers and professionals from different areas of specialization, with whom they might have differing opinions (Capitol Beat, 2019). In such cases, other groups may not be as receptive to the nurses’ ideas since it is believed their opinions majorly revolve around the healthcare system, and they might not be well informed on other important aspects of policy reviews like availability of finances. To overcome this challenge, nurses can broaden their knowledge of what is required for policy formulation and all the other aspects involved (National League for Nursing, 2019). They can also work together to empower one another in providing evidence-based opinions. In the case of the unit council meetings, during the introduction of a new policy, some of the participants, including other nurses, might challenge the policy simply because of fear of a change (Milstead & Short, 2019). To overcome such challenges, nurses need to prepare ahead by providing awareness of the new policy (including costs analysis and the expected outcomes) to other coworkers to gain support in case they may need a vote.
Two strategies to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities
For nurses to be able to access the opportunity provided regarding policy review, it is also necessary to ensure that there is enough awareness. Various strategies can be used to communicate the existence of these opportunities. Such may include the use of social media and seminars (Milstead & Short, 2019). Since social media has become a highly appreciated means of communication in the modern world and a reliable tool that can be used to communicate important information to RNs and APRNs (The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2019). With network groups formed in platforms such as Facebook, news on new opportunities can be easily spread and reach a larger group. Further, the information can also be spread through seminars where nurses can participate in policy reviews. These can also be used for creating awareness in case of new opportunities.
Capitol Beat. (21 August 2019). ANA Capitol Beat. Nurses are speaking, and Congress is
listening as August recess wraps up. Retrieved from https://anacapitolbeat.org/
Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.).
Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
National League for Nursing (NLN). (2019). Workforce. NLN. Retrieved from
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (January 23, 2019) AACN Applauds
Bipartisan Commitment to Support Investments in Nursing Education and Practice. AACN. https://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Press-Releases/View/ArticleId/23047/title-viii-2019-commitment