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Nurses make up one of the largest work forces in the world. Being so, nurses have the potential to significantly influence healthcare policy and related politics on a global scale. By assuming a political advocacy role, nurses can use their influence to improve healthcare delivery by effecting policy. Until recently, nurses were reluctant to involve themselves in the political arena for a multitude of reasons. However, things are rapidly beginning to change. Policy making has become a recognized term within the nursing profession and nurses are beginning to feel a sort of obligation/duty to engage in healthcare policy/legislation. The purpose of this post is to explain at least two opportunities for RN’s and APRN’s to actively participate in policy making; explain some of the challenges they may face; explain how one would over come these challenges; and recommend two strategies one might make to become a better advocate.
Opportunities for nurses to engage in policy making is increasing by the day. Organizations like the American Nurses Association is making engagement as simple as a few clicks. The ANA’s action center highlights key healthcare issues that impact the nursing profession and makes it simple to contact policy makers concerning issues that are important to you (ANA, 2021). Another opportunity involves donating/contributing to the ANA’s Political Action Committee (PAC). The contributions are used to help elect or re-elect leaders who will whole-heartedly advocate for nurses and their patients on a congressional level (ANA, 2021).
Fortunately, the ANA makes it quite easy for one to become an advocate and share their thoughts, opinions and/or voice with lawmakers. All one has to do is submit and email account address and click send. Upon doing so and automatic email message will be sent to lawmakers in support of your chosen stance. The ANA also makes it easy to contribute to re-election or the election of nurse leaders and champions. One, if already any ANA must simply click the “contribute” tab, follow simple instructions and ultimately donate an agreed upon amount of funds.