Discussion – Week 9
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Evaluation is an invaluable component of all policy programs. It provides data, commentary, and critical evidence for ongoing improvement, enhancement, and effectiveness of programs. It helps policymakers, administrators, clinicians, financial stakeholders, and the public understand what works and what needs to change to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities (Milstead & Short, 2019).
There are some opportunities that exists for RN and APRNs to actively participate in policy review. One of such opportunity is by joining a professional organization, these organizations often have lobbyists that bring nursing issues to Capitol Hill. An example of such an organization is the American Nurses Association (ANA) which helps the RNs and the APRNs to understand how they can engage in policy review. Nurses can participate in policy review on local, state, and federal levels (American Nurses Association, 2020).
Another opportunity for RNs and APRNs to participate in policy review is through the workplace. The nurses are professionals who have the responsibility and capacity to influence the existing healthcare delivery programs. A major role of the RNs and APRNs is to promote quality health and this can be achieved by participating in policy review. Nonetheless, these opportunities have their challenges. Some nurses do not want to belong to professional organizations due to financial obligations and time constraints. In the workplace, nurses are not even aware of the policies that need to be reviewed.
Strategies to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities to participate in policy review is to create awareness of the benefits of professional organizations to nurses. Nursing schools need to include healthcare policy education as part of their curriculum as well as encourage some form of political involvement. Employers need to provide nurses with the time and resources to help them participate in policy review. According to Laureate Education (2018), policy evaluation helps us to know if we are achieving our goals, if we are off the mark, and how we can improve.
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