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
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POST A: The first opportunity that exists for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review is the professional organizations. There are various professional organizations for the RNs and APRNs (Ironside, 2015). Professional organizations such as the American Nurses Association, Emergency Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nursing can be used by nurses to review a certain policy. Professional organizations ensure that any policy that is implemented is effective and favors the nurses. It is during the review process that this is determined.
The second opportunity is through the workplace. The RNs and APRNs are professionals who have the responsibility and capacity to influence the existing and prospect healthcare delivery programs. The major role of the RNs and APRNs is to promote quality health. Through their workplace, RNs and APRNs stand a chance of influencing a policy review by ensuring that the policies promoted are effective in their places of work (Trueland, 2017). In case a given policy doesn’t promote quality care, the RNs and APRNs can decline it by writing a request for the policy to be reviewed. The workplace ensures that the policies proposed promotes quality care as it is the nurses who know what will work and what will not.
The professional organizations’ opportunity may present the challenge of a complex process when it comes to membership. According to research conducted by Sigma, many nurses have not joined the professional organizations due to the complexity involved in joining them. The challenge of complexity in the membership process can be overcome by establishing a simple and well-understood process that nurses should follow in joining professional organizations. Some nursing associations are also not much radical due to poor leadership. The leadership in professional nursing associations needs to be reformed (Trueland, 2017).
The opportunity of the workplace has its challenges too. First, some nurses are not updated on the policies that are being proposed and need their review. In such a case, the nurses need to be informed of the policy changes and the trending policies that are awaiting implementation (Trueland, 2017). The workplace also has the challenge of disunity among nurses. It is about the time when nurses unite and focus on a common goal. There is also the challenge of poor leadership which doesn’t give the nurses a chance to grow their leadership skills. The leaders in healthcare facilities should give a chance for all the nurses to expand their leadership skills and make them more confident to question all policies.
The two strategies that lead to better communication of the existence of these opportunities are training and good leadership (Ironside, 2015). With effective training for the nurses, they can better understand their roles and work environment. Good leadership is crucial in ensuring that the nurses are given a chance to air their views regarding a given policy. It is also the leaders of an organization who determine whether the nurses will have a chance to review a given policy. Training and good leadership are the essential elements of a knowledgeable nursing team.
POST A above is my response: below is a collegue responding to my post. I need assistance answering
You identify the challenges of getting involved in policy change and development. As you state, joining professional organization and getting involved in the workplace by influencing policy review. Based on your experience with pursuing advanced education, what steps do you believe are needed to encourage and support others to pursuit these goals? What education or training do you believe is most effective to prepare nurses to engage in the process of policy review or evaluation at all levels?
POST B: How do nurses initially become involved in politics and specifically policy review? It’s a great way additionally for a nurse to advocate for patient rights. There are a couple of ways a nurse can become involved on a larger scale with reviewing policies.
One way to be involved in policy review is to become a member of your states nurses’ association. In Colorado, elections are held annually for the Board of Directors and advertised on the Colorado Nurses Association (CNA) home page. The positions are held for a two-year term, minus the President who is a three-year term. The Board of Directors partner with the CNA Government Affairs & Public Policy Committee. As a Nurse Legislator Liaison, you would work directly with Colorado’s 35 Senators and 65 Representatives (Colorado Nurses Association, n.d.). As a liaison, this would allow you to be a part of reviewing different healthcare policies. A challenge encountered from serving for your state Board of Directors, is that it’s time-consuming. If you already have a full-time job and a family, it would be challenging to devote the time to the board. Instead of serving on the board, a nurse could volunteer their time when able, as long as you were a member.
Another way to be involved in policy review is to either take on an internship with elected officials or to run for an office position. Holding office can be on a local, state, or federal level. Currently, two nurses are serving in Congress, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) (American Nurses Association, n.d.). Challenges to running for office may also include time and limited ability due to location. Ideas to overcome these challenges would be to volunteer on a local level and attend community meetings.
Strategies to communicate these opportunities might include having meetings with local healthcare teams to let them know why it’s essential that they’re involved in policy making and review and how to become an advocate. For nurses that are not members of their state nurses association, they could be notified of the additional benefits of becoming a member and how to get involved.
POST C: There are a variety of ways nurses can become involved in the evaluation of policy-making. The two most common areas are through professional organizations such as the American Nurses Association and their place of employment. These are the easiest ways for nurses to get involved but there are others. As stated in this weeks video The Importance of Program Evaluation, evaluation is critical to understand and it is critical to think about outcomes when policies are first being developed. Nurses have a good idea of the problem and the potential solutions to those problems. When policies are being crafted a wide variety of viewpoints is necessary to shape policy that will down the road change and become law or regulation.
A good example of where this was on display was during the 2018 election in Massachusetts that targeted nursing ratios. While the nursing union pushed for it, it struggled due to a wide variety of problems with the it. The nursing union pushed the idea to state leaders to craft legislation. As the bill was put on the ballot, other state and national organizations started to get involved. Professional organizations started to dissect the legislative proposal and nurses talked amongst each other to better understand the impacts this will have on the profession. Oostveen (2015) discussed these types of initiatives in the past and determined that key areas that nurses evaluated was the impact of nursing autonomy, nursing authority, and nursing behavior. Many hospital systems in Massachusetts are unionized but not all of them. The debate raged on from nursing and healthcare executives, physicians, and the public started to weigh in. The most common way the the public got information was from nurses directly. Some favored it and some opposed it. In the end, it was less about the politics and more about the outcome. Would nurses have the same authority, autonomy, and behaviors if this was implemented. The measure was struck down 75-25%.
Courses such as this one have added incredible value to the policy process. McGuire (2017) did research on 187 nursing students before and after taking a course such as this one. What they found was that new nurses coming into the profession had a greater awareness of policy making and tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy by going through courses such as this. Politics is part of our lives regardless if you are political or not. Politics affects our jobs, costs, pay, and patient safety. We should be part of the process and help develop tools to evaluate the effectiveness of a given policy and let our policy-makers know if the policy works or not.
INSTRUCTIONS: POST B AND C ABOVE ARE CLASSMATES RESPOSE TO THE POST. I NEED ASSISTANCE TO RESPOND WITH FEEDBACK WITH ADDTIONAL INPUT OR QUESTIONS. 2 REFERENCE NEEDED