The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Respond to at least two of your colleagues’* posts by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.
RE: Discussion – Week 8
One opportunity that exists for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policymaking is to join a state nurses association and offer their expert opinion on developing new regulations and policies. Nurses should become well informed about health and public policies that are currently under political consideration. They can attend committee hearings when bills or issues are being addressed. A hearing provides the opportunity for interest groups, executive branch agencies, and groups that represent the public to hear about the selected parties’ strengths and weaknesses of the proposed bill. It is at this hearing that witnesses can provide oral remarks and submit a written version of feedback on the proposal to the assembled committee. After witnesses’ oral presentation, the committee members can ask questions for clarification (The Legislative Process: Committee Consideration (Video). n.d.).
Another opportunity that exists for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policymaking on a national level is to join the American Nurses Association (ANA). According to the American Nurses Association (n.d.), this association represents nurses on Capitol Hill. They provide support for state nurses associations to advance their advocacy agendas and help elected officials. The ANA advocates for federal agencies to propose and enforce new laws in order to promote the nursing profession. The ANA has established relationships with their representatives and elected officials to work together and develop a health system that is of high quality and can be easily accessible.
The challenges of presenting in front of a committee would be a possible lack of content on current policy issues that are being addressed. To overcome this challenge, nurses must be an expert on a particular subject, be well informed, and extremely knowledgeable to provide constructive feedback. Any opposition from committees or policymakers requires clarification on what exactly needs a revision in order to have a successful policy execution. This information can be taken back to stakeholders and interested organizations to seek feedback and ideas that would improve the proposed policy to get the policymakers to sign off on it. New policy implementation can meet resistance from the front-line workers due to a limited amount of information or time to make a decision, therefore, providing street-level bureaucrats autonomy increases their willingness to implement the policy (Tummers & Bekkers, 2014).
Strategies to promote and communicate nursing opportunities to participate in policymaking can be made through the TV, radio, and social media advertisements. This route is capable of reaching the majority of nurses. In addition, nursing organizations can advertise their existing connections to lawmakers and encourage more nurses to become involved. Nurses can also get involved in other interest groups and become an activist and a voice for the cause.
American Nurses Association (n.d.). When nurses speak, Washington listens. Retrieved from https://ana.aristotle.com/SitePages/HomePage.aspx .
The Legislative Process: Committee Consideration (Video). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/legislative-process/committee-consideration.
Tummers, L., & Bekkers, V. (2014). Policy implementation, street level bureaucracy, and the importance of discretion. Public Management Review, 16(4), 527-547. doi:10.1080/14719037.2013.841978
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