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NURS 6051 Discussion The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making essay assignment
Two opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making are by participating in disease advocacy/special interest groups and through personal experience. According to the American Nurses Association (n.d.), advocacy is a pillar of nursing. Thousands of nurses across the country have a chosen specialty that is considered their “niche.” For example, mine is psychiatry and I am a huge mental health advocate. RNs and APRNs have the opportunity to participate in policy-making dealing with their chosen specialty, as they most likely know quite a bit about those fields and can bring their knowledge to the table. Personal experience brings about another opportunity for RNs and APRNs to participate in policy-making, as experience allows one to bring to light problems encountered while working that could be addressed with advice/help from the main caretakers.
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The challenge for the opportunity of a special interest group may present could be how congress would decide which advocated disease would deserve special recognition by receiving a new policy. There are so many catastrophic diseases it would be difficult to choose which one or in what order in which to move forward. The challenge for the opportunity of those with personal experience could be that the issues a group of nurses is having may be facility-specific problems, not a nationwide common issue, which may cause the policy proposal to be thrown out.
Strategies to better communicate/advocate the existence of these opportunities include approaching the policy proposal in a systemic way and building relationships to support the policy. We respond to problems on a disease-by-disease basis instead of systemically (Health Policy and Politics, 2018). In other words, when issues in healthcare arise, they are usually only addressed according to how they affect a certain disease progression. For example, someone diagnosed with dementia is often not eligible for certain resources until their disease progression has worsened and they need to be institutionalized (Health Policy and Politics, 2018). At this point what good has the system really done for them? Mental health resources that could be used by dementia patients can also be used by someone with anxiety and depression. Approaching issues in a way that covers more than just one disease at a time could make policies so much more effective. Building relationships with media, consumer groups and businesses to help bring light to issues needing to be addressed in healthcare would be a great way to better advocate the existence of these opportunities for RNs and APRNs (Getting Your Program Designed and Implemented, 2018). The more individuals advocating for change, the better chance a proposed policy has of becoming a reality.
American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Advocacy. ANA. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/advocacy/
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Getting your Program Designed and Implemented
[Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Health policy and politics [Video file]. Baltimore,
Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Word cloud generators have become popular tools for meetings and team-building events. Groups or teams are asked to use these applications to input words they feel best describe their team or their role. A “word cloud” is generated by the application that makes prominent the most-used terms, offering an image of the common thinking among participants of that role.
What types of words would you use to build a nursing word cloud? Empathetic, organized, hard-working, or advocate would all certainly apply. Would you add policy-maker to your list? Do you think it would be a very prominent component of the word cloud?
Nursing has become one of the largest professions in the world, and as such, nurses have the potential to influence policy and politics on a global scale. When nurses influence the politics that improve the delivery of healthcare, they are ultimately advocating for their patients. Hence, policy-making has become an increasingly popular term among nurses as they recognize a moral and professional obligation to be engaged in healthcare legislation.
• Revisit the Congress.gov website provided in the Resources and consider the role of RNs and APRNs in policy-making.
• Reflect on potential opportunities that may exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in the policy-making process.
By Day 3 of Week 8
Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making. 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 to participate in policy-making. Be specific and provide examples.