Nurses have a tremendous advantage in the political process, given the public's overall respect for the profession and nurses' expertise in...
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Nurses have a tremendous advantage in the political process, given

the public's overall respect for the profession and nurses' expertise in healthcare. Year after year, nursing is voted as the most "ethical" profession by Gallup polls, and the average person perceives nurses as altruistic, caring, and intelligent. Describe two key reasons that nurses are uniquely positioned to take the lead in challenging policy situations.


Nurses understand that healthcare policy has important implications for patient quality and safety. Analyze how having a policy-making skill set, such as being able to write, review, and debate policies, leads to improvements in patient quality and safety.


Involvement in healthcare policy is a natural extension of the nurse's role as an advocate. Many opportunities exist for nurses to become involved in the policy process. Analyze the role of the nurse and how they might become an active participant in policy development/modification in at least two different aspects. For example, examine how a nurse can affect positive change in policy within their facility, and also think about a way that a nurse can be part of the policy-making process at the state or national level.


Nurses make up the largest group of healthcare providers in the U.S. and are in key positions to engage in health policy, political participation, and/or political activism. Select one current healthcare policy at the local, state, or national level. For help identifying a policy idea, consider visiting the American Nurses Association's Nursing Legislative Issues and Trends website or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Federal Policy Agenda for Academic Nursing website (both links are found in the ancillary documents). Describe the selected policy, identify its purpose, and evaluate its ideal outcomes, and drawbacks. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implemented a pay-for-performance (P4P) policy in 2016 which has 55% of fee-for-service Medicare shifting to quality-based payments. Naturally, this is a strategy to promote quality and value of healthcare services. However, a drawback of this policy is that it has had hospitals, nurses, and other healthcare providers scurrying to implement it, due to its complexity.


Every day, nurses apply ethical principles in each step of the policy process as they follow the best evidence-based practice guidelines available. Nurses' policy practices are driven by caring, respect, openness, and honesty. Analyze one key concept in the Nurses Code of Ethics that nurses can utilize while involved in healthcare policy activities.


The essence of the nursing profession is both valued within a society and uniquely accountable to that society. This is considered to be the profession's social contract. Using the American Nurses Association website, first identify a current healthcare policy that nurses are involved in at the local, state, or national level. Second, using Fowler's Guide to Nursing's Social Policy Statement: Understanding the Profession from Social Contract to Social Covenant, pp. 19-20, analyze how the nurses' social contract is being upheld within that policy.


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