1 Policy, Politics, and Global Health Policy, Politics, and Global Health Rachelle Dix WGU
2 Policy, Politics, and Global Health Policy Change A. Healthcare is evolving into a complex system of not only skills but also diversity, leadership, technology, and communication. With advancing of the healthcare system, the nurse must advance knowledge and skills to adequately provide care. Continuing education units (CEU) are a means for the nurse to advance their knowledge and skills. Some states currently require nurses to obtain continuing education to renew nursing license, and some do not. When a state does not require a nurse to maintain CEU, problems may arise. The Nurse’s knowledge, skills, and evidence-based guidelines may not be current. This can pose a risk to patient outcomes. A1. Public Policy Issue . Nurses need to maintain continuing education to adequately maintain their nursing knowledge, skills, and evidence-based practice guidelines. An initiative to advance the nursing degree must be implemented. Associate degree prepared nurses occupy the majority of hospital employed nursing staff currently in Mississippi. The Mississippi State Board of Nursing currently does not require continuing education to renew a nursing license. An initiative needs to be implemented to encourage nurses in the state to obtain baccalaureate education at a minimum within five years of completing an associate’s degree. A1a. Issue Selection. In Mississippi, it is not required that nurses obtain continuing education credits to renew licenses. There is no incentive for nurses to stay current in evidence-based practices. Recent studies have indicated a need for higher education in nurses to expect better outcomes. Studies also suggest that baccalaureate prepared nurses experience better patient outcomes, increased competency as well as higher skill level, along with increased professional integration within the nursing field (Schneider, 2016). Mississippi has multiple issues regarding
3 Policy, Politics, and Global Health social determinants of health and in order to achieve positive outcomes, highly skilled nurses must be introduced into the healthcare workforce. A1b. Issue Relevance. This issue is important to the public because the community relies on competent, up-to-date nursing care during a health crisis. Recent studies conducted on Magnet facilities (facilities with 80% baccalaureate prepared nurses) discovered that readmission rates were lowered, significant mortality rates decreased, and lengths of stay were consistently shorter (Winokur, Rutledge, & Hayes, 2016). A recent survey discovered in the Midwest and South, that aging nurses and younger nurses with minimal educational background comprised the nursing majority professionals in those regions (Daw, Mills, & Ibarra, 2018). This presents an issue for the future of nursing in Mississippi. Nurses in Mississippi must be encouraged to seek higher education to improve patient outcomes within the state. Because healthcare and populations needs are evolving, so must the education of nurses.