The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation Assignment
In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making. A critical component of any policy design is evaluation of the results. How comfortable are you with the thought of becoming involved with such matters?
Some nurses may be hesitant to get involved with policy evaluation. The preference may be to focus on the care and well-being of their patients; some nurses may feel ill-equipped to enter the realm of policy and political activities. However, as you have examined previously, who better to advocate for patients and effective programs and polices than nurses? Already patient advocates in interactions with doctors and leadership, why not with government and regulatory agencies?
In this Discussion, you will reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making.
Review the Resources and reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
By Day 3 of Week 9
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.
Nurses and Health Policy Evaluation.
Nurses need to be involved in policy evaluation so as to improve their careers and their organizations. The participation of nurses in policy evaluation can be through becoming members of professional organizations for nurses. Any professional organization is tasked with providing assistance in collecting data, and eventually disseminating the data after evaluating it in a summative manner. (Derouin, 2019). Nurses are heavily involved in data collection in the course of their work and are thus in a better position evaluate a policy and its potential outcomes. By joining a professional organization, a nurse can also learn from other nurses and get their views on different policies. The participation of nurses in policy evaluation can also be through using research and information based on evidence in contacting the policy makers on issues that need their attention. The use of highly reliable data in the formulation and implementation of policies improves the process. Nurses can provide this highly reliable data as a result of their active participation in the healthcare industry and their direct contact with patients.
The participation of nurses in policy evaluation may also bring some challenges. One such challenge may be the differences in opinion with other nurses within a professional organization. Acting on one’s ideas may be difficult in cases where others do not agree with them. Another challenge is inadequate resources which makes the completion of assessments difficult for nurses. Gathering enough and quality data to back the need for a particular policy needs a significant amount of financial and human resources. The absence of other outcomes to compare with is also a challenge. Nurses are unable to find enough evidence to base their research on and are therefore unable to recommend policy evaluation. (Gazzarian et al., 2020).
The strategies that are used in advocating and communicating particular policy issues to be reviewed and evaluated are key. One of these strategies is practicing patient advocacy. This involves becoming advocates in boardrooms to ensure policies are evaluated and pointing out the influence of each policy on patients’ results. An example of this strategy includes insisting on a governance model that is shared. This allows nurses to leverage their interactions with patients and improve the quality of decisions made. Any policies formulated from these decisions are greatly beneficial to the patients as they stem from professionals with a higher level of awareness of their needs. Nurses can also advocate for their working conditions to be optimized through increased safety, availability of resources for research and better staffing and working schedules. All these lead to improved outcomes for the patients.
Another strategy would be using their voices and experiences to become leaders in the society. An example of this strategy includes starting health initiatives in the community. These may include initiatives such as screening of illnesses to ensure community members are aware of health issues that are of importance as well increasing the uptake of health requirements such as getting vaccinated. Nurses have close bonds with their patients and are thus best-placed to carry such initiatives. They are trusted by the patients and thus their involvement can ensure that comply. (Milstead & Short, 2019). Nurses can also educate the community by deciphering facts and clinical data for them using layman’s terms. This gives community members the opportunity to comment on various health issues and the nurses can then pass the information to the policymakers.
Derouin, A. (2019). Health policy and social program evaluation.
Gazzarian et al. (2020). Theories, models, and frameworks used in nursing health policy dissertations: A scoping review. Applied Nursing Research. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2020.151234
Milstead, J. A. & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Waddell, A. (2019). Nursing organizations’ health policy content on Facebook and Twitter preceding the 2016 United States presidential election. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 75(1), 119-128. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibray.org/10.1111/jan.13826