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Role of the Professional Nurse in Health Policy

Erol Amisial

ST. Thomas University

NUR 415 AP 4

Instructor Dr Rosa Rousseau

April 17, 2022

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Role of the Professional Nurse in Health Policy

The provision of adequate health care is a fundamental human right. Individuals and

communities alike benefit from the spread of basic health practices and disease-prevention

initiatives across the globe, regardless of their cultural background. Health policy encompasses

all of these activities to accomplish a shared goal (Huang et al., 2020). There are several health

policies established in the healthcare system and the advantages that these policies bring to the

general population are pretty noticeable. Professional nurses' contributions to healthcare policy

are also addressed, with examples of what registered nurses and other healthcare practitioners

must perform to comply with healthcare rules. Professional nurses in the healthcare setting must

work closely and trustingly together to help develop and implement health plans and programs.

This paper will provide an overview of the role of the professional nurse in health policy and will

also highlight several examples of healthcare policies.

Healthcare policy

General principles and aims that influence how health care is offered to the public are

health policy. In the hospital or clinical setting, national or state health care policy can be

refined. Health policy choices made at the national level equally affect patients and medical

practitioners. Policymaking, implementation, and evaluation are directly influenced by nurses

and nurse practitioners working in their fields. It's critical to have a firm grasp of the current state

of the healthcare system, including how it's funded and how many people it serves.

A vision for the future that serves as a basis for formulating objectives and points of

reference for the near and medium term defines the WHO's approach to health policy. A health

policy is aspirational, which implies that it is designed to show healthcare workers what they

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should be aiming to accomplish. Health policy establishes roles and responsibilities for various

stakeholders, such as medical professionals, nurses, and other support workers. It also helps

build consensus among the numerous stakeholders in a community or a healthcare system

(Huang et al., 2020). Policy changes in the healthcare industry have the potential to bring about

the real-world application of ideas that have been tested in many scenarios over the years.

Concepts and ideas that, in general, contribute to the improvement and enhancement of

healthcare services may be made easier to apply with the help of the policies. Non-health policies

may nonetheless have an impact on the overall well-being of employees. One should be mindful

of the desired effects on health while formulating human resources policy which includes laws

on working hours, vacation time, flexible scheduling, job structure, and supervisory style, to

name a few.

There are different examples of healthcare policies, which include the following:

Food Safety Policy: Individual health and the health of society as a whole are directly

impacted by food safety regulations. Public health officials must adopt laws to ensure that only

food safe to consume is made available to the public, as a foodborne illness is a significant cause

of concern.

Tobacco Use: Several public health officials have adopted policies and initiatives to fight

and overcome the effects of tobacco, such as illness and deaths realized from tobacco use. These

tactics include the provision of smoking areas and designated points of tobacco use. This helps to

prevent the effects of smoking from reaching non-tobacco users. Besides, the increment in

tobacco price is also a policy adopted to reduce tobacco use.

HIV: Educating the public on HIV prevention, living with the virus, treatment choices, and

eliminating stigma are critical functions of public health policy. There has been an increase in the

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availability of HIV testing, contraceptive methods, and treatment across a wide variety of

countries.

Alcohol: Alcohol abuse is a leading cause of car accidents, violent crime, sexual assault,

and other health problems. Measures taken by the government are essential in the fight against

alcoholism and its harmful effects on individuals who drink it. There is a wide range of policies

regarding the consumption and purchase of alcohol, but the most common example is the age

limit.

Role of the healthcare nurses in health policy

If you're a nurse in any healthcare environment, you're accountable for designing strategies

and policies that support both health intervention and prevention in the community. Nurses and

other healthcare providers must consider more than simply physical health while providing care

to their patients (Huang et al., 2020). These kinds of implementations show how healthcare

knowledge and concepts are put into practice in the real world; effective and deserved outcomes

are frequently the product of implementations.

Nurse practitioners have a significant impact on health policy. To better patient outcomes,

the role of nurse practitioners in the health care system and organizations is crucial. It is often the

job of nurse practitioners who work at the front lines of patient care to translate large-scale health

policies and procedures into individual patient encounters. Because they spend so much time

talking to patients and getting to know their needs, nurse practitioners play a vital role in setting

health policy (Huang et al., 2020). Consequently, nurse practitioners are well-versed in what is

and isn't working in the medical field today. In this way, legislators may be able to adjust

healthcare policies based on their findings.

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Several professional nurses have been cited in the past. They have highlighted the

enormous role that nurses play in creating policies, notably in the areas of women, babies,

schoolchildren, and environmental health. According to the American Association of Colleges of

Nursing, health policy education was essential for Master's degree students in nursing some

years ago, and they were accurate. Additionally, nowadays, bachelor's degree programs in

nursing include courses on policy. When formulating and implementing health policies, nurse's

input is essential and requires intervention (Huang et al., 2020). Nurses should be educated in all

facets of the healthcare system, not only in inpatient care. Nurses throughout the world have

realized that just following orders is no longer an option. A new generation of health

policymakers is emerging, with nurses poised to step forward. Let's look at several health care

companies that have realized the importance of nursing leaders in the decision-making process;

better patient care may be achieved by giving nurses and patients more of a say in decision-

making.

According to the American Nurses Association, nurse professionals typically play an

essential role in transmitting health policy to the nursing team members who report to them and

holding those nurses accountable for reaching stated objectives and expectations (Ellenbecker et

al., 2017). Several health policy methods and situations demand the engagement of nurses to be

successful. Professionals in healthcare must first and foremost demonstrate their dedication to

healthcare policy by developing the most efficient means of implementing it. A professional

nurse's first and primary duty is to compile and evaluate every piece of healthcare policy. As a

result of their investigation, they highlight all of the policy's weaknesses and prospective

concerns. Health policies are assessed by professional nurses, who utilize their abilities,

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expertise, and professionalism to uncover any defects that can compromise healthcare delivery's

intended functioning and aims.

In addition, professional nurses are involved in evaluating and selecting the most

significant opportunities that will help improve the relevant health policy. Experienced nurses

may play several critical roles in enhancing and improving a policy by using the options

recognized by professional nurses to implement the policy effectively (Ellenbecker et al., 2017).

As advisers, professional nurses meet with high-ranking politicians and administrators to advise

on the clinical methods and means to be used throughout the policy formation and development

processes. There are several reasons for this, but one is that nurses have a critical role in the

creation of new policies and the execution of existing ones.

Action plan for nurses’ involvement in health policy

Identified issues

Required action

Persons in charge

Deadline Measurement of performance

How to measure

The primary need for editing and making significant changes in the healthcare policy regarding different issues faced in the healthcare environment

Development of new policy and review of the present policy regarding the issues mentioned.

Senior nurses and charge nurses.

One week after commencing.

How do patients react to the policy

Did the issues get eradicated?

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In the action plan to involve nurses in health policy, the respective professionals are

involved and included in the planning for the reviews and creation of new approaches in the

healthcare environment. Doing so will enable the complete intervention and participation of

professional nurses. The main issues and areas that need change are identified in the health

policy. Professional nurses are tasked with various jobs, such as reviewing and identifying

aspects that require change and consideration regarding the respective environment (Ellenbecker

et al., 2017). Afterward, the professional nurses are asked to provide their views and the

individual edits that should be done to the health policy and contribute to the provision of the

central aspect to be included in the composition of new significant health policies in the

healthcare environment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, health policies are viewed as crucial components in the implementation and

supply of high-quality health services and the construction of good healthcare settings.

Professionals such as nurses have an essential role in advancing the understanding and

appreciation of health policy (Huang et al., 2020). It is possible to observe such aspects of a

patient's health when caring for chronically unwell patients. In their employment, practice nurses

may find themselves in circumstances where they must deviate from established protocols. Their

primary role is to ensure that health policies are developed, integrated, and implemented in the

most cost-effective and time-effective manner possible.

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References

Ellenbecker, C. H., Fawcett, J., Jones, E. J., Mahoney, D., Rowlands, B., & Waddell, A. (2017).

A staged approach to educating nurses in health policy. Policy, Politics, & Nursing

Practice, 18(1), 44-56.

Toofany, S. (2005). Nurses and health policy. Nursing Management, 12(3).

Anders, R. L. (2021, January). Engaging nurses in health policy in the era of COVID‐19.

In Nursing forum (Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 89-94).

Huang, L. H., Chen, C. M., Chen, S. F., & Wang, H. H. (2020). Roles of nurses and National

Nurses Associations in combating COVID‐19: Taiwan experience. International nursing

review, 67(3), 318-322.

Lewinski, A. A., & Simmons, L. A. (2018). Nurse knowledge and engagement in health

policymaking: Findings from a pilot study. The Journal of Continuing Education in

Nursing, 49(9), 407-415.

Cusack, E., Killoury, F., & Nugent, L. E. (2017). The professional psychiatric/mental health

nurse: skills, competencies and supports required to adopt recovery‐orientated policy in

practice. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 24(2-3), 93-104.

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