Participation in policy making can be achieved at the federal level and downward to individual institutions. “What government decides with policy is small compared with all the ways individual groups choose to enact policies” (Laureatte Education, 2018). Evidence based practice is a cyclical process that requires revisions based on actual practice. Nurses and APRN’s are ideally suited to be key contributors in this process.
We are the front-line vision for how the processes work. We can influence policy making by advocating our local and state representatives for governmental policy changes on a broad level. We also can be an effective voice in our own institution. “Our system is built on, and encourages, individuals to be educating their officials” (Laureatte Education, 2018).
This week, I am completing my first week as a travel nurse in NYC. I came here after the televised pleas for ICU nurses to come help. This week’s discussion post ties in well with what I am seeing first-hand in NYC. I am working in a makeshift ICU. The unit did not exist five days ago. We have “constructed” our ICU in a separate, large room of the ER. We are fully staffed by all travelers; including MD’s, NP’s, and RN’s. Covid is new to us all, and our resources are very limited. But, we are all working together to policy make for our unit. We are each gathering information as it becomes available and sharing with one another to attempt to provide the best evidenced based care that we can. This is an example of not only Interpersonal Collaboration, but active policy making (Milstead & Short, 2019, p. 152). The current physician in charge of the unit has encouraged us all to speak up with any ideas we have to provide better care.
After this pandemic rescinds, there will be many healthcare providers with direct experience that can actively legislate for change. “National associations exert influence on politicians and can make voices heard” (Laureatte Education, 2018). Nurses organizations such as the American Nurses Association provide an opportunity to advocate as a group (American Nurses Association, n.d.).
Challenges that are faced at all levels can include funding and resource allocation and awareness of the issue. Especially with the Covid crisis, healthcare workers need to communicate to representatives the imperative need for support and enactment of policy to be prepared in the event of future crisis.
American Nurses Association. (n.d.). https://www.nursingworld.org/
GovTrack.us Tracking the United States Congress . (n.d., ). Congress [ comment]. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/
Laureate Education. (2018). Working with legislators [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/202050_27/MS_NURS/NURS_6050/USW1_NURS_6050_module02.html
Laureatte Education. (2018). Health Policy and Politics [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/202050_27/MS_NURS/NURS_6050/USW1_NURS_6050_module04.html?course_uid=USW1.3108.202050&service_url=https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/bbgs-deep-links-BBLEARN/app/wslinks&b2Uri=https%3A%2F%2Fclass.waldenu.edu%2Fwebapps%2Fbbgs-deep-links-BBLEARN#introduction
Milstead, J., & Short, N. (2019). Health policy and politics a nurse’s guide (6 ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning