The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
RNs and APRNs are involved in the policy review. One existing opportunity for these nurse practitioners to actively participate in policy review is enrolling in nursing education. During various nursing programs, nurses are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to advocate for the change needed in their respective healthcare organizations (Lehane et al., 2019). According to Hashish et al. (2020), implementing evidence-based interventions improves the quality of patient care and healthcare outcomes. Thus, by advocating for change in healthcare organizations, nurses contribute to the achievement of superior health outcomes. Additionally, nurses can participate in policy reviews by enrolling in healthcare organizations. Nursing organizations such as American Nursing Association (ANA), allow their members to engage in policy formulation, contributing to change needed in the healthcare sector.
While participating in policy review, RNs and APRNs are likely to encounter some challenges. First, nurses are underrated in their healthcare organizations. Thus, they might not be allowed to implement knowledge and skills acquired while their nursing program to advocate for the change needed in their respective healthcare organizations to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes. Nurses can overcome this challenge by demonstrating their capacity to identify challenges facing the healthcare organization and propose an evidence-based intervention that can be implemented to resolve identified clinical issues. Another potential challenge that might compromise a nurse’s opportunity to participate in policy review is the failure of a nurse to enroll in nursing organizations supporting policy review. Nurses can overcome this challenge by identifying and enrolling in associations that allow members to participate in policy-related matters. The existence of these opportunities can be communicated by emphasizing policy development and implementation through the education system of nurses (Shiramizu et al., 2017). Additionally, other healthcare givers should be educated about the significance of policy review and implementation in addressing challenges facing healthcare organizations.
Hashish, A., Aly, E., & Alsayed, S. (2020). Evidence-Based Practice and its Relationship to Quality Improvement: A Cross-Sectional Study among Egyptian Nurses. The Open Nursing Journal, 14(1). DOI: 10.2174/1874434602014010254
Lehane, E., Leahy-Warren, P., O’Riordan, C., Savage, E., Drennan, J., O’Tuathaigh, C., … & Hegarty, J. (2019). Evidence-based practice education for healthcare professions: an expert view. BMJ evidence-based medicine, 24(3), 103-108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjebm-2018-111019
Shiramizu, B., Shambaugh, V., Petrovich, H., Seto, T. B., Ho, T., Mokuau, N., & Hedges, J. R. (2017). Leading by success: Impact of a clinical and translational research infrastructure program to address health inequities. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities, 4(5), 983-991.
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.