NURS 6050 The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation

NURS 6050 Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health Week 9 Discussion

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and registered nurses (RNs) can participate in policy-review by volunteering to participate in policy meetings or joining professional nursing organizations (American Nurses Association [ANA], 2019). There is evidence of a nursing practice gap in politics during a time when our nation’s healthcare system is undergoing tremendous changes (ANA, 2019). The importance of leadership and health policy training is primarily to discuss governmental policy, using different means to communicate the information (Alhassan et al., 2019).

NURS 6050 The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation

Presence of APRNs and RNs in policy-review will result in the improvement of nursing practice, and increase qualification of patients’ care (Cheraghi et al., 2015). One challenge nurses face with participating or volunteering to be a part of policy meetings is the lack of nurses involved in policy debates and health reforms and the uncertainty about their status in policy making (Cheraghi et al., 2015). It is essential for nurses to become involved in health policy- review and become leaders with strong voices in the developing policies (Cheraghi et al., 2015).

APRNs and RNs also face challenges within professional nursing organizations such as lack of time (Alhassan et al., 2019). Demanding work schedules, lack of staffing, and decreased job satisfaction due to budget cuts effects the time nurses must participate in professional nursing organization for policy review (Alhassan et al., 2019). Health policies directly affect the delivery of care for underserved populations, health outcomes, health disparities, health equity, and the environmental stressors (Alhassan et al., 2019).

One strategy to advocate policy-review is ensure nurses demonstrate some degree of political participation (Rasheed et al., 2020). When nurses become politically active influencing health policy development it ensures that health care is safe, of a high quality, accessible and affordable (Rasheed et al., 2020). Finding time and possessing relevant knowledge and interest about how political issues affect health care and the nursing profession (Rasheed et al., 2020).

Another strategy for advocating policy review involves nurses participating in policy development by joining professional nursing organizations and making valuable contributions (Rasheed et al., 2020). Nurses being involved in policy-review can influence access to health services, suicide prevention, care of pregnant women and their children, child abuse policy, and authorization of nurses to practice to the full extent of their authority (Rasheed et al., 2020).

NURS 6050 The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation References

  • Alhassan, A., Kumi-Kyereme, A.,Wombeogo, M., and Fuseini, A. (2019). Nurse participation in political activities: Level and practices of registered nurses in Tamale, Ghana.” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 24, no. 2. http://41.66.217.101/handle/123456789/2444
  • American Nurses Association. (2019). Policy advocacy motivators and barriers: Research results and applications. https://doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol24No03PPT63
  • Cheraghi, M. A., Ghiyasvandian, S., & Aarabi, A. (2015). Iranian Nurses’ Status in Policymaking for Nursing in Health System: A Qualitative Content Analysis. The open nursing journal, 9, 15–24. https://doi.org/10.2174/18744346015090100
  • Rasheed, S. P., Younas, A., & Mehdi, F. (2020). Challenges, Extent of Involvement, and the Impact of Nurses’ Involvement in politics and policy making in last two decades: An Integrative Review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(4), 446-455.

Role of RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation Example 2

Nurses can play a significant role in evaluating policies to enhance the organization’s performance as well as their careers. They can participate in policy evaluation by being part of professional organizations, which most assume the role of collection and dissemination of various forms of policy data (Derouin, 2019). As part of professional organizations, nurses contribute to a policy review by gathering knowledge and other forms of useful information that can be used to evaluate policy outcomes (Gazarian et al, 2020). Professional organizations present a great opportunity to learn from others and get their opinion on policy issues.

Nurses can also participate in policy reviews by using scientific data and evidence-based research to inform health policy reviews. Policy review processes involve the collection of credible and reliable information and reflecting how such information can be used to improve existing policies (Waddell, 2019). By supplying policymakers with concrete data and evidence-based research, policymakers can make policy decisions that are based on facts.

However, nurses may encounter various challenges as they participate in the policy review process. For instance, when they join professional bodies, they must be able to deal with other people’s opinions even if they do not agree. Whereas professional organizations help in building teams and networks, it might be difficult to develop a strong team if the team members’ ideas and opinions do not match.

Nonetheless, the teams and networks can play a significant role in facilitating policy evaluation. For instance, nurses can leverage social media networks to communicate and gain feedback on health policies. The social networks also present an opportunity for the nurses to educate the public on the policies as well as how they affect public health delivery.

NURS 6050 The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation References

  • Derouin, A. (2019). Health policy and social program evaluation. In J. A. Milstead, & N. M. Short (Eds.), Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed., pp 115-131). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Gazarian, P., Ballout, S., Heelan-Fancher, L., & Sundean, L. J. (2020). Theories, models, and frameworks used in nursing health policy dissertations: A scoping review. Applied nursing research: ANR, 151234. Advance Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2020.151234
  • Waddell, A. (2019). Nursing organizations’ health policy content on Facebook and Twitter preceding the 2016 united states presidential election. Journal of Advanced Nursing75(1), 119–128. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13826

ACA Ethics of Improved Equity – Opportunities for RNs and APRNs to Engage in Policy Evaluation

Regardless of whether nurses are registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses, these professionals have several important roles in evaluating healthcare policies in the United States. First, nurses participate in policy evaluation at the local level when they assume leadership positions in nursing welfare groups (Glasgow et al., 2003). Such groups profoundly affect the local and county policy-making process because they seek to address the issues nurses face in their professional practice.

Consequently, nurses influence policy evaluation at the localized level by influencing improvements or redactions of laws, requirements, and policies that undermine efficiency, effectiveness, and ethical practice. Their continued contributions have enabled local jurisdictions to complement healthcare policies and empower nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The interaction of nurses at various levels of proficiency and experience with vulnerable members of the population also testifies their ability to participate in healthcare policy evaluation (Shiramizu et al., 2016). Most of the personnel involved in policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation have limited contact with minorities in the streets, veterans, ethnic minority groups, old patients, and patients in remote locations.

The sentiments of such vulnerable stakeholders in the American healthcare system usually rely on their nurses, making these professionals integral in evaluating the efficacy of Federal, state, or even local healthcare policies. Therefore, nurses’ ability to interact with the American healthcare stakeholder community’s vulnerable and minority groups enables them to participate in policy evaluation through stakeholder representation (Shiramizu et al., 2016). Additionally, their input in the policy evaluation process benefits from personal, operational, and professional perspectives, which continue to demonstrate usefulness in complementing the American healthcare system’s improvement.

Challenges these Opportunities might Present and Possible Solutions

The first challenge both RNs and APRNs face when engaging in policy evaluation at the local and state levels is the lack of adequate facilitation. Most of the nurses who service remote areas and regions occupied by vulnerable stakeholders such as ethnic minorities and older patients lack the proper healthcare infrastructure (Milstead & Short, 2019).

Unfortunately, most of America’s attention in healthcare improvement has focussed on access among patients without considering how critical healthcare personnel such as professional nurses could benefit. However, this challenge could be remedied using additional funding and training programs at both the local and state levels.

Political interference and hidden agendas among administrative personnel have often undermined the ability of nurses to participate in healthcare policy evaluation (Williams & Anderson, 2018). Many politicians use the plight of RNs, APRNs, and other challenged healthcare professionals to leverage their way into elective positions without helping these groups.

However, nurses can effectively participate in local, state, and even national healthcare policy evaluation by electing nurses as their own administrative and political leaders. If local and state RN and APRN welfare groups elected members from their ranks, interference from political groups and other similar challenges might be eradicated.

Strategies for Better Advocacy of Opportunities

Better advocacy for healthcare evaluation opportunities could occur in the United States of healthcare administration jurisdictions enabled more nursing professionals to assume offices within their ranks. Traditionally, such management and administrative positions were reserved for doctors or career managers, but giving nurses such changes will increase their policy evaluation participation (Milstead & Short, 2019).

Lastly, nursing groups at the state or local levels might be informed of opportunities to participate in policy evaluation through seminars, electronic and social media, or official communication methods. Therefore, these nursing bodies understand their role in discussions revolving around America’s healthcare policies and the need to evaluate existent policies.

Conclusion

Policy evaluation is increasingly becoming desirable as professional nurses in the United States seek more proactive positions in the country’s healthcare system. Two possible opportunities for RNs and APRNs to participate in policy evaluation exist in state and local practices where interaction with vulnerable stakeholder groups is more pronounced.

However, these opportunities expose professional nurses to two main challenges; inadequate infrastructure and political interference. Nonetheless, better advocacy among nursing communities about such policy evaluation opportunities exists in the form of more leadership positions for professional nurses and increased investment in information dissemination.

NURS 6050 The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation References

  • Glasgow, R. E., Lichtenstein, E., & Marcus, A. C. (2003). Why don’t we see more translation of health promotion research to practice? Rethinking the efficacy-to-Effectiveness transition. American Journal of Public Health93(8), 1261-1267. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.93.8.1261
  • Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Chapter 7, “Health Policy and Social Program Evaluation”. In Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed., pp. 116-124). Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
  • Shiramizu, B., Shambaugh, V., Petrovich, H., Seto, T. B., Ho, T., Mokuau, N., & Hedges, J. R. (2016). Leading by success: Impact of a clinical and translational research infrastructure program to address health inequities. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities4(5), 983-991. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-016-0302-4
  • Williams, J. K., & Anderson, C. M. (2018). Omics research ethics considerations. Nursing Outlook66(4), 386-393. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.05.003

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