wk8 6050 responses
If I were to input word into a nursing word cloud describing a nurse, I would choose the following: Dedicated, Leader, Advocate, Empathetic, Caring, Scholar, Organized, Powerful, Smart, Decisive. My list could go on and complete this entire paper. Before this class, I will be honest; I never thought much about politics and policies from a nursing perspective. I have since joined the American Nurses Association (ANA). Upon reviewing their website, I saw many statements that encouraged me to join and become an active member. Nurses instinctively advocate for their patients, their workplaces, and their communities. Still, legislative and political advocacy is no less critical to advancing the profession and patient care (American Nurses Association, n.d.). As a Nurse, I have always stated and believed I should advocate for my patients and colleagues; I just was not sure until now how to make significant changes. Every Nurse and APRN should familiarize themselves with a Nursing association, at least spend some time looking around the webpages and learning what they do for patients and colleagues, spending some time researching the changes they advocate for and the difference made. If policies were made only by politicians, they would lack the clinical and empathetic portion. Public policy related to financing health care not only must assure access and quality but also bend the cost curve downward (Milstead & Short, 2019). Politicians are lovely at the cost curve portion, but how would they have the background to understand if the access and quality of care are being hindered? Nurses and APRNs can also choose to be involved by writing their local legislative members. You can handwrite or e-mail; sending them information, stories, or the reason you are advocating can go a long way.
I think one challenge nurses and APRN might be afraid of when they think about getting involved in politics and the making of policies is the time consumption. As it is nurses work long hours, only one state right now limits the number of hours a nurse can work; the rest are often mandated numerous overtime shifts a week, and still must have time for family and life. By becoming involved through an organization such as ANA, you are not alone. You can partake as much as you have time. Any nurse who is interested in influencing the policy process, even one with limited time and resources, can find a way to become a confident advocate (Abood, 2007). A second challenge, as mentioned previously, is a lack of knowledge on how to get involved. I think more nursing programs and APRN programs need to teach students Health policies and politics courses. Education is critical and understanding makes items less intimidating. The big world of politics is less scary if you are not going into it alone.