How Can Nurses Influence Policy?

How can nurses influence policy

Nurses are the most important professionals in the healthcare system.

They are responsible for the treatment, care, and recovery of a patient and maintaining the health of a healthy person.

In this article you’ll get straightforward answers to the questions like “How can nurses influence policy?” and “How can nursing influence public health care policy?”.

Nurses are also involved in various medical research where they perform many non-clinical tasks that are required.

Nurses are well trained and specialized in their respective fields.

It is important for us nurses to know, we can influence the entire healthcare system by using their significance in areas of policy and leadership.

Below are the key roles played by the nurses:

  • Conducting diagnostic tests
  • Tracking a patient’s health and recovery
  • Writing prescription
  • Assisting patients to get specialized treatment
  • Advising and guiding the patients about the treatment and medication
  • Taking care of the patients

The roles and responsibilities of nurse practitioners are divided on the basis of their area of specialization.

See also: Can a Nurse Practitioner Prescribe Medication?

Such as, some nurses carry out diagnostic tests like X-rays, while some are involved in counseling patients.

Now it’s time to dig deeper into how can nurses influence policy.

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How can a nurse best influence policies in an organization

How can nurses influence policy then?

How can nurses influence health policy

Over the years, the healthcare system has changed significantly and it is still changing.

Thus, for the betterment of the system, nurses should adapt to these changes.

A study on nurse practitioners has stated that nurses play an important role in influencing the health policy or different levels.

As a matter of fact, nurses can effectively carry out quality improvement tasks.

For example, they can attend meetings and share their abilities and advice.

They can also advise their political leader about health-related issues.

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Here is how can nurses influence policy:

  1. Along with implementing the policies, nurses should influence them. Only then, they will be able to keep themselves active in the development of the healthcare system. They should be able to influence the base of these policies.
  2. Nurse practitioners should develop and polish their policy-making skills for facing the upcoming challenges in their profession.
  3. Since, nurses have the experience, values, and ethics (See also: Ethical Principles in Nursing), they can put forward their unique ideas and opinions in policies.
  4. Over the decades, the role of nurses has grown. It is safe to say, their presence is quite important. In today’s world, nurses are expected to come to a step forward and take part in decision-making. They are required to address the issue at the formulation time of the policy.
  5. Nurses should learn about the level of power and should have proper knowledge about the power flow within the system. They should know who is enjoying the power to control their institution.

It can be easily concluded that nurses can play a very important role in influencing the policies that affect the whole healthcare system.

How can nurses influence public health care policy?

How can nurses influence public health policy

As far as the public health care policies are concerned, these are important for all the people relying on the healthcare system.

The role of nursing professionals in public health care is advocating the policies that are beneficial for public health.

In order to do this, nurses should gain experience and take part in decision-making.

Educational, as well as professional knowledge, is required to achieve such goals.

See also: SMART Goals for Nursing with Clear Examples

Here is how can nurses influence public health policy:

  1. Nurses are talented professionals who influence public health policies by providing regular health care for the public.
  2. Nurses spend most of their time with patients, therefore, they have better knowledge about the needs of the people they take care of. See also: How Can Nurses Improve Patient Outcomes?
  3. Nurses are great advocates for the development of public health policy. There are many groups like Associations of Public Health Nurses that guide nurse professionals to advocate and influence public health policies.
  4. The Association of Public Health Nurses divided the advocacy into three main components:
    ➔ Creating the policies where they are needed and nothing existed.
    ➔ Reforming the non-effective policies
    ➔ Making sure the best policies are implemented.
  5. The higher level of experience of nurses has a large impact on autonomy. A practitioner nurse undergoes one or two-year training under the guidance and supervision of a doctor. So, if a nurse wants to influence the policies of the healthcare system, he/she should gain experience and realize their responsibilities towards the healthcare system.
  6. Another way to exert influence on public health policy is to get a higher education or certification in their respective fields. For example, they can pursue a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice, etc. Many hospitals have given the general medical responsibility of a doctor to the nurses with higher education and certifications in order to cut the cost.
  7. The demand for nurse professionals is increasing day by day. They are now at the front foot influencing the public health care policy because of their advocating skills for the patients. They have the golden opportunity to become the advocates of communities.

Now you know how can nursing influence public health care policy.

It’s time to wrap things up.

Conclusion: How can nurses influence policy?

How can a nurse best influence policies in an organization

Being a nurse is not the same as it was some years back, where the responsibility of a nurse was only to look after the patients by standing around his bed.

Now, the time has changed.

Nurses are as important as other medical practitioners.

They are not only serving the patients but also working in different fields of clinical as well as non-clinical research.

By increasing their expertise and experience, nurses influence the policy and the public health policy effectively for the betterment of the healthcare system.

Through advocating and acquiring higher qualifications, nurses are helping the patients, families, and the community.

Therefore, it is safe to say that the nurses influence the policy by their ability to make and question the decision and other affairs that are related to the healthcare system by making use of their power, effectiveness, experience, education.

And these qualities can be gained by knowledge regarding the policies, strong opinion, communication, convincing power, and awareness regarding the working of the system.

With the help of these qualities, the healthcare system will be improved.

Higher-level nursing is how nurses can influence policies.

Now you know all about how can nurses influence policy and more specifically, public health policy.

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.