APRN in Policy-Making

 APRN in Policy-Making

Discussion Board: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policymaking

Post an explanation of at least two opportunities for RNs and APRNs to participate in policymaking actively. 

Registered nurses and advanced practice nurses can participate in policy making in two ways. Nurses can be involved in the policy design process and research regarding health services (Milstead & Short, 2019). When participating in the policy design process, nurses are considered professional experts and are often asked to consult on committees to assist policymakers in drafting new legislation (Milstead & Short, 2019). Nurses involved with professional nursing organizations are also able to advocate for change, such as allowing advanced practice nurses to operate with full practice authority in a particular state. Nurses can also bring social issues in healthcare to policymakers who, before this, may not have been aware the issue existed (Milstead & Short, 2019)NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.

Health services research focuses on multiple areas of the healthcare industry. Milstead & Short (2019) noted that health services research specifically related to the field of nursing could assist in improving quality of care, access to care, and patient safety. Nurses involved in research can assist policymakers in identifying problems, estimating the cost of potential change, and assist with identifying the risk versus the benefit of the change overall (Milstead & Short, 2019). This information is essential to consider as the goal is to achieve patient safety and the best patient outcomes possible for the community that is being served.

Explain some of the challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges.

The most common challenge that policymakers face is their budget. However, nurses can bring social issues to the forefront of the policy discussion when considering a policy change. It is essential to consider the cost of the change (Barzegar et al., 2020). How much is the new policy going to cost? How will the policy change impact the way the hospitals function or spend their funds? Governments need to know how their new policy will impact the healthcare system and the citizens they serve (Barzegar et al., 2020). Health research is an integral part of determining the cost of the policy change and looking for the most cost-effective way to implement it (Milstead & Short, 2019) NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making .

Finally, recommend two strategies you might make to better advocate for or communicate these opportunities to participate in policymaking. Be specific and provide examples.

Nurses have the option to obtain membership in a professional nursing organization. As a member of a professional organization, nurses have the opportunity to assist with lobbying efforts for legislation. An example of a topic that has been at the forefront of nursing issues is the Nurse and Healthcare Worker Protection Act that was introduced to the 114th Congress (2015-2017) (Milstead & Short, 2019). This act was the result of lobbying completed by the American Nurses Association (ANA).  This legislation requires employers to purchase and maintain equipment to assist in lifting and transferring patients to protect nurses and nursing support staff from injury (Milstead & Short, 2019). Nurses should communicate to their colleagues who are members of their specific organization to get involved with lobbying efforts to assist with policy formation.

Nurses can also get involved in their own organization’s committees to help influence policy-making within their facility. Many committees exist within a hospital to help shape policy and review evidence-based practices (Lavenberg et al., 2019). One example would be joining the facility’s safety committee. This committee looks at the safety issues in the hospital. It works to determine ways to prevent the safety issue from re-occurring and advocate for policy changes based on evidence-based practices (Lavenberg et al., 2019) NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.



Barzegar Safari, M., Bahadori, M., & Alimohammadzadeh, K. (2020). The Related Factors of Nurses’ Participation and Perceived Benefits and Barriers in Health Policy Making. The Journal of Nursing Research : JNR28(4), e103. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1097/jnr.0000000000000385

Lavenberg, J. G., Cacchione, P. Z., Jayakumar, K. L., Leas, B. F., Mitchell, M. D., Mull, N. K., & Umscheid, C. A. (2019). Impact of a Hospital Evidence‐Based Practice Center (EPC) on Nursing Policy and Practice. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing16(1), 4–11. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/wvn.12346

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


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 Congress.gov 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.

The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

Opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in policy-making

The RN and APRN have many different options to help in policy-making. Nurses make up the largest Healthcare profession worldwide. As a large group, they can make changes that will better the health of the patients. According to Carlson (2012), nurses play two roles in direct patient care and advocacy. The first opportunity available to nurses to get involved in policy-making is to comment on current government regulations online or through letters. The second opportunity for nurses to participate in policy-making is by educating those that are in politics on an issue in healthcare. According to Schaeffer and Haebler (2019), nurses can educate new and returning legislators on the scope of our work and the challenges that they face every day.

Explain some of the challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges

There are some challenges that these opportunities may present. The challenge of commenting on regulation is that you may not be fully educated on the regulation. The way to overcome this challenge is to educate yourself through evidence-based research. Continuing education can help nurses stay up to date on skills and knowledge of topics (Lewinski and Simmons, 2018). The other challenge of educating lawmakers is that they often do not know healthcare and health policy. Most lawmakers do not fully understand the profession of nursing and appreciate being educated by nurses (Schaeffer and Haebler, 2019). One way to overcome this challenge is to make an appointment with your representatives and discuss issues in nursing.

Two strategies you might make to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities to participate in policy-making

The strategies that I would use to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities are to encourage nurses to join professional organizations and educate fellow nurses on the current legislation regarding healthcare. Nurses that join professional organizations can help fund lobbyists that try to shape healthcare through a nursing voice. The professional organizations also offer opportunities for individual nurses to participate in policymaking. Many nurses do not want to be a part of a professional organization so it would help keep them informed of current legislation that affects them or the patients.


Carlson, E.S. (2012). How to comment on government regulations. American Nurse Today, 7(7), 34-36. https://www.nursingworld.org/~4ae1d2/globalassets/docs/ana/ant7-regulation-626.pdf

Lewinski, A.A. & Simmons, L.A. (2019). Nurse knowledge and engagement in health policy making: Findings from a pilot study. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 49(9), 407-415. http://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.3928/00220124-20180813-06

Schaeffer, R. & Haebler, J. (2019). Nurse leaders: Extending your policy influence. Nurse Leader, 17(4), 340-343. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1016/j.mnl.2019.05.010


I agree with you that a lack of education is a crucial factor in why nurses do not get involved in policy-making.  The absence of knowledge hinders the progressive growth of the nursing profession.  You are also correct in your viewpoint that the changes made are by non-nursing individuals (Brokaw, 2016).  While it may be frustrating, we as a profession need to accept more accountability.  We should encourage each other as nurses to become more involved in policy and change.  My union president always encouraged me to come to meetings and to get involved.  Her rationale was we looked much stronger and more unified.  Also, the larger the turnout, the more serious we appeared to the politicians or other constituents we were appealing to NURS 6050 week 8 Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.

Getting involved in professional organizations is another excellent point.  I am guilty of being a member of many organizations yet not been actively engaged in any.  As nurses, we “can play an influential role in health policy-making at local, national, and international levels” if we become more involved (Rasheed, Younas, & Mehdi , 2020).  I read the articles or attend the webinars for CEUs, but I have not to advocate or attend any rallies.



Ahmed, M. H. (2018, July). Reflection for the undergraduate on writing in the portfolio: where are we now and where are we going? Journal of advances in medical education & professionalism, 6(3), 97 – 101. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039822/

Brokaw, J. J. (2016, September 22). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. Retrieved from American Nurses: https://www.myamericannurse.com/nursing-professions-potential-impact-policy-politics

Rasheed, S. P., Younas, A., & Mehdi , F. (2020, May 25). Challenges, extent of involvement, and the impact of nurses’ involvement in politics and policy making in in last two decades: an integrative review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(4), 446 – 455. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/jnu.12567


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