Nurses possess adequate competencies and philosophies that can be adopted to transform the future of care delivery. These professionals continue to dictate the quality of services available to different populations. In the recent past, different stakeholders have been keen to encourage and guide such caregivers to be involved in policy formulation. Some good examples include the Institute of Medicine (IoM) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the roles of professional nurses in health policy and present a superior action plan for increasing involvement.
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Professional Nurse’s Role in Health Policy
Nursing remains one of the critical professions in the field of medical practice. Due to their massive numbers, these experts have the potential to present superior insights that can transform care delivery. Rafferty (2018) reveals that nurses are obliged or required to be involved in legislation and focus on new clinical practices that resonate with their patients’ needs. This strategy remains critical since the politics and policies associated with a given region will have significant implications on the experiences and health outcomes of the targeted population. When these professionals collaborate and present informed ideas, chances are high that all other stakeholders will become involved and eventually deliver positive results.
Over the years, many nurses have been frustrated by most of the existing laws and guidelines. For instance, they have been compelled to work under supervision even though they have adequate skills. They are also taken for granted in different healthcare settings, thereby becoming disillusioned and bitter (Rafferty, 2018). Ellenbecker et al. (2017) believe that such nurses can be involved in policy setting agenda to have such issues addressed. This is part of their moral obligations and can empower them to transform the existing situation and meet the demands of both caregivers and patients.
The reality is that professional or qualified nurses can influence politics and health policies in their respective states and across the country. According to the IOM report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health of 2010, they should be allowed to undertake leadership positions and encourage other stakeholders to pursue ideas and practices that can transform the industry (Palatnik, 2016). Those who want to achieve greater goals can join different organizations, engage in continuous learning, and vote whenever there is a new opportunity.
With their competencies and expertise, professional nurses are aware of the unique issues affecting the entire sector. The current political climate empowers them to use legitimate procedures wisely to promote the quality of care. Additionally, these individuals are more educated and have diverse backgrounds. These attributes explain why they have the potential to deliver superior concepts and ingenuity to nursing and the entire healthcare sector (Palatnik, 2016). Such professionals are free to engage in political activism to ensure that new leaders are capable of addressing the challenges many people continue to face.
As patient advocates, nurses can pursue this aim to empower more citizens. They will influence decisions made in the industry and remain committed. They will read widely and consider case studies where existing problems have been addressed. With such developments, more people will receive high-quality and sustainable services while such professionals will be able to work in appropriate environments (Palatnik, 2016). They will continue to focus on emerging issues and concepts that are appropriate for the global health sector.
The above section has identified nurses as critical stakeholders in healthcare policymaking processes. Unfortunately, the majority of them remain uninvolved due to various challenges or obstacles. Some of the outstanding ones include the absence of adequate competencies, reduced awareness, and lack of opportunities (Ellenbecker et al., 2017). These gaps explain why there is a need for a superior strategy to ensure that more professional nurses are involved in this agenda. Such a plan should attract all stakeholders if positive results are to be realized.
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Firstly, policy development should be introduced as a core subject in nursing institutions and other organizations. This approach will ensure that all students enrolled in such learning facilities understand their moral obligations and duties in the policy formulation (Rafferty, 2018). This stage can also be considered to ensure that nursing associations guide and educate their current members about such goals and how they can transform their experiences.
Secondly, all qualified nurses should engage in continuous learning since the challenges facing them or the entire profession change constantly. This approach will ensure that they are aware of the emerging issues and the best strategies to address them. They can join different like-minded groups to identify critical obstacles affecting policy formulation and propose superior solutions (Palatnik, 2016). This kind of action will create a strong foundation for launching appropriate policy ideas and sustaining them to the very end.
Thirdly, those who are ready to pursue a specific aim within this field can liaise with different stakeholders, politicians, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This approach is necessary since it will become a new opportunity for acquiring resources, information, and concepts. These achievements will then guide them to formulate their policies and attract the attention of different people. Such a process will ensure that more nurses are capable of identifying areas for addressing using new guidelines and policies (Ellenbecker et al., 2017). They will also be informed about the challenges many citizens go through and how they can embrace the power of advocacy to support them.
Fourthly, members of the public, friends, and family members should be supportive if positive results are to be realized. They can encourage them to consider the importance of political activism to promote health policy with minimal difficulties. Similarly, health institutions should provide adequate opportunities, time, and resources to their employees to participate in policy-related issues at the federal, state, and even local levels (Palatnik, 2016). This approach is critical since their actions have the potential to address most of the challenges affecting the entire sector.
Finally, nurses should not rest until their issues have been addressed using additional policies. This means that they should remain confident and pursue different alternatives until new procedures and guidelines are accepted that meet the needs of the greatest number of citizens (Ellenbecker et al., 2017). They can stay vigilant to identify emerging problems and embrace the power of advocacy to change them.
The above discussion has revealed that professional nurses are mandated to engage in health policy. They can do so by applying their competencies to address the major challenges affecting the medical sector. The proposed action plan can be replicated in different settings and regions to ensure that more nurses are involved in health politics and policy. The result is that more professionals will work in good environments and provide high-quality services to their respective patients.
Ellenbecker, C. H., Fawcett, J., Jones, E. J., Mahoney, D., Rowlands, B., & Waddell, A. (2017). A staged approach to educating nurses in health policy. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 18(1), 44-56. Web.
Palatnik, A. (2016). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health…how are we doing? Nursing2019 Critical Care, 11(3), 4. Web.
Rafferty, A. M. (2018). Nurses as change agents for a better future in health care: The politics of drift and dilution. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 13(3-4), 475-491. Web.