The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making Discussion

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NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Nursing profession is the largest arm of medical profession in the United States and around the world. The outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic had shown the world how important and relevant the nursing profession is to the whole world. Many other medical professions can operate online include doctor’s consultation through Telehealth but only nurses are always available 24/7 with the patient. This shows the world how important is the nursing role in the medical field and as such we have every potential to influence policy and politics to improve our condition of service and advocate on the delivery of care to our patient. The unfortunate situation is that many of the nurses have little or no involvement in politics which I think the outbreak of the pandemic has served as an eye opener to many of us to know the power and potential that we carry and to appropriately use those potentials. NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

One of the opportunities that exist for RN and APRN to actively participate in politics and policymaking both at the local, state, and federal level is through professional nursing organizations such as America Nurses Association (ANA), National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America (NANNNA) and so on. These organizations have people that can take part in an organized attempt to influence legislators that will bring nursing issues to Capitol Hill. Another way nurses can get involved in politics is by writing our local or state representatives on issues about healthcare policy and nurses can also run for county, state, and federal offices so that we will be able to participate on matters affecting nurses and the healthcare system.

Just to mention a few of some of the challenges this opportunity might present for RN and APRN to be involve in policy and politics are inadequate skill. When nurses do not have enough skill, it will be difficult for them to influence any policy affecting them and their patient. Another challenge is that Nurses were given little or no opportunity for involvement in politics. We need to advocate for ourselves and our patient by getting involve. Nurses are faced with lack of time and resources that we need. “An organization’s failure to achieve the intended benefits of an innovation it has adopted may thus reflect either a failure of implementation or a failure of the innovation itself” (Klein & Sorra, 1996). For nurses to overcome some of these challenges, nurses need to be skill in patient care and work with other medical professionals for support, nurse should obtain formal training in politics which will give them the skill they needed for effective participation in politics and policy making. NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

In conclusion, when policies are made especially by people who have little or no knowledge about healthcare, nurses are badly affected. It leads to a lot of frustration, burnout, and often affect our delivery of care to our patient. As Oestberg states, “As nurses, we need to think of policy as something we can influence, not just something that happens to us and if nurses don’t stand up for issues that are important to us, those with competing interests in healthcare may be the only ones whose voices are heard.” (oestberg, 2012). If American nurses can join their voices together, we will be able to influence the policy and politics that affect us and the healthcare system.


American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Advocacy. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). Step by step: Evaluating violence and injury prevention policies: Brief 4: Evaluating policy implementation. Retrieved from

Klein, K. J., & Sorra, J. S. (1996). The Challenge of Innovation Implementation. Academy of Management Review, 21(4), 1055–1080.

Kunaviktikul, W. (2014). Moving towards the greater involvement of nurses in policy development. Int Nurs Rev. 61(1), 1-2.

Oestberg F. Policy and politics: why nurses should get involved. Nursing. 2012;42(12): 46-49.


Before taking this class, not knowing enough about politics or how to get involved would have been my biggest challenge, being fluent in the political arena may never be my strong suit, but I feel equipped to make a difference. Joining other nurses in a professional organization to help make a change would be exhilarating. As stated in my initial post, I believe there is strength in numbers when pushing for policy-making. Nurses are the largest healthcare group in America (Milstead & Short, 2019). Together we can make a difference. NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

I agree that nurses suffer when uninformed policy-making occurs. Think of how often, within our own companies, policies change, and the nurse’s job becomes more challenging. There are more tasks and less help. When nurses are involved in policy-making, there are benefits to both the patient, the nurse, and the nursing profession (Shariff, 2014). Overall, I feel nurses are more satisfied with their job when they feel their voices are heard.


Milstead, J., & Short, N. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide. Jones & Bartlett.

Shariff, N. (2014). Factors that act as facilitators and barriers to nurse leaders’ participation in health policy development. BMC Nursing, 13(20).

response 2

I agree with you that the Covid-19 pandemic increased awareness for nurses about policymaking. During this class, we have learned that nurses do not participate in policymaking nearly enough. Nurses with direct patient contact may believe that their role is too small to make an impact (Anders, 2021). However, because of frontline nurses’ experience, they are the perfect candidates to help shape policy (Anders, 2021). The Covid-19 pandemic created an urgent need for nurses to become involved in policy (Anders, 2021).
You make good points about joining a professional nursing organization, which helps advocate for political causes. Professional nurse organizations advocate for both patients, communities, and the nurses or nurse practitioners that they serve (Goolsby & DuBois, 2017). I have written letters to legislators in the past about things that interest me.
I think nurses have great skills in the area that they specialize. Nurses are used to implementing policy in the workplace but are less used to writing policy themselves. I also feel that they are used to being spoken down to and repeatedly mistreated (psychological harassment), making them less confident (Trepanier, Fernet & Austin, 2013). Lack of confidence means nurses are less likely to be heard when the goal is policy change. Many nurses also deal with burnout, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, making them more indifferent to policy change.


Anders, R. L. (2021). Engaging nurses in health policy in the era of COVID‐19. Nursing Forum, 56(1), 89–94.
Goolsby, M. J., & DuBois, J. C. (2017). Professional organization membership: Advancing the nurse practitioner role. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(8), 434–440.
Trépanier, S.G., Fernet, C., & Austin, S. (2013). Workplace psychological harassment in Canadian nurses: A descriptive study. Journal of Health Psychology, 18(3), 383–396.
Discussion 2: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making
Word cloud generators have become popular tools for meetings and team-building events. Groups or teams are asked to use these applications to input words they feel best describe their team or their role. A “word cloud” is generated by the application that makes prominent the most-used terms, offering an image of the common thinking among participants of that role.

What types of words would you use to build a nursing word cloud? Empathetic, organized, hard-working, or advocate would all certainly apply. Would you add policy-maker to your list? Do you think it would be a very prominent component of the word cloud?

Nursing has become one of the largest professions in the world, and as such, nurses have the potential to influence policy and politics on a global scale. When nurses influence the politics that improve the delivery of healthcare, they are ultimately advocating for their patients. Hence, policy-making has become an increasingly popular term among nurses as they recognize a moral and professional obligation to be engaged in healthcare legislation.

To Prepare:

Revisit the website provided in the Resources and consider the role of RNs and APRNs in policy-making.
Reflect on potential opportunities that may exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in the policy-making process.
By Day 3 of Week 8
Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making. Explain some of the challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges. Finally, recommend two strategies you might make to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities to participate in policy-making. Be specific and provide examples.

By Day 6 of Week 8
Respond to at least two of your colleagues’* posts by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.

Health policy is a topic that affects everyone locally, nationally, and globally. Waddell (2021) states, “health policy is the choices that a society, part of society, or an organization make regarding its goals and priorities (p. 1). In today’s political climate, nurses must raise their voices in unison to advocate for change, not only for nurses but also for healthcare consumers (Milstead & Short, 2019). The purpose of this discussion is to explain ways registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can participate in policy making, the challenges they can encounter, and solutions to these challenges.

Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions

RNs and APRNs can actively participate in policy making by getting involved and becoming members on committees and boards such as the State Board of Nursing, where their voices can be heard and impact positive changes. A challenge they can encounter would be the opposition they will face on decisions of different policies (Duquesne University, 2020). Speaking to the opposition, going into the community and speaking to the people who will be impacted and get their opinion on what will be needed to get the policy passed, and talk to their leaders and get advice on how to shape the policy into an acceptable policy (Laureate Education [Producer], 2018).

RNs and APRNs can join a nursing association like the American Nurses Association (ANA) to participate in policy making. They can be in a position to be elected to the Board of Directors for the ANA can become lobbyists working with their state legislators to bring forth new policies and improve old policies. Challenges to joining an organization are that it can be time-consuming and financially costly as members of multiple organizations. Solutions to explore would be volunteering on one policy at a time because of time constraints instead of being on the board, joining only one organization, and getting support from family and friends (ANA, n.d.).


National League for Nurses (NLN, n.d.) strategies to communicate these opportunities foster excellent and trusting relationships, education, and training. Developing relationships are effective ways to promote changes. Have a meeting with the community, their leaders, and healthcare teams explaining the importance of getting involved in policy making and becoming an advocate for change. Nurses should be building relationships with the legislators and their staff by personally giving their time to support them and their agendas before asking them to help their policy. Developing relationships with nurses who are not affiliated with any nursing organization and show them the many benefits. Finally, education and training are crucial elements to becoming a knowledgeable policy maker. Being a fountain of knowledge and resource will be beneficial on how to promote policies for better health outcomes (NLN, n.d.).


American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Health policy. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from

Duquesne University. (2020, May 22). How nurse managers play a role in policy decision-making. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Getting your Program Designed and Implemented [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

National League for Nurses. (n.d.) Building relationships with your legislators. Retrieved April 18, 2021, from

Waddell, A. (2021). Measuring nurses’ health policy participation: WSPPIR instrument development and psychometric evaluation. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77(1), 461–472.