The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

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Policies reflect public opinion as well as evidence-based data. The policymakers comprise a collection of stakeholders whose task is to find solutions to problems that cannot be resolved by nongovernmental or philanthropic organizations (Milstead, 2019). In health care the most valuable stakeholders are nurses. They are in the front lines of patient care, for this reason they should be involved in policy making. One opportunity nurses have to participate in policy is by joining an organization that can influence policy making, one example is the American Nurses Association. Another way nurses can influence policy making is by participating in voting; campaigning; attending rallies; volunteering; contacting elected officials; working with others on local problems or issues; and being a member of nursing or non-nursing organizations that take stands on political issues (Alhassan, et al. 2019).

Participation in policy making can sometimes be difficult for nurses, there are several barriers in place that cause this lack of participation. A practice gap in nurse policy advocacy has been demonstrated. The state nursing organization (SNO) leaders perceived its members’ lack of advocacy skills and commitment to engaging in advocacy (Jurns, 2019). Nurses sometimes doubt that they have the knowledge in order to participate in policy making. For this barrier, I will assure that I, personally become a member of an organization in order to stay up to date of new policy making opportunities. Another barrier found was the fact that nurses didn’t feel comfortable in speaking with policy makers. Although nurses reported a perceived lack of speaking skills when addressing Policy makers, nurses are educated and trained to communicate. One of many means they effectively use to do so is through using the evidence-based SBAR tool (Jurns, 2019). Advocating and talking about policy can be intimidating for nurses. In order to overcome this barrier, it is important to utilize the knowledge we already have as a stakeholder and speak accordingly. The SBAR tool is a great was to stay on course and cover all pertinent information.

Reference:
Alhassan, A., Kumi-Kyereme, A., Wombeogo, M., Fuseini, A.-G., (2019) “Nurse Participation in Political Activities: Level and Practices of Registered Nurses in Tamale, Ghana” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 24, No. 2. DOI:10.3912/OJIN.Vol24No02PPT63 Retrieved from: https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/A…

Jurns, C., (September 6, 2019) “Policy Advocacy Motivators and Barriers: Research Results and Applications” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 24, No. 3. DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol24No03PPT63 Retrieved from: https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/A…

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Milstead, J.A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed. ). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning

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