Posted: February 24th, 2023

The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation

Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation
In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making. A critical component of any policy design is evaluation of the results. How comfortable are you with the thought of becoming involved with such matters?
Some nurses may be hesitant to get involved with policy evaluation. The preference may be to focus on the care and well-being of their patients; some nurses may feel ill-equipped to enter the realm of policy and political activities. However, as you have examined previously, who better to advocate for patients and effective programs and polices than nurses? Already patient advocates in interactions with doctors and leadership, why not with government and regulatory agencies?
In this Discussion, you will reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
To Prepare:
In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making.
Review the Resources and reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.
The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation Sample Answer
Policy evaluation is the process of assessing the effectiveness of a policy in achieving its stated objectives. Registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) play a significant role in this process by collecting and analyzing data from the groups targeted by the policy to understand its impact. RNs and APRNs also engage with stakeholders involved in policy implementation to gather their perspectives on any challenges that may have hindered the achievement of policy goals. In addition, RNs and APRNs may provide recommendations for addressing any issues that arise during the policy evaluation process. Overall, RNs and APRNs play a crucial role in policy evaluation by bringing their clinical experience and patient advocacy to the process and working to ensure that policies are effective in promoting the best interests of patients.
As a professional nurse, it is important to consider the role that policy evaluation can play in improving patient care and promoting the overall health of the community. Nurses are often in a unique position to identify areas where current policies and programs may not be effective, or where there may be opportunities for improvement.
By participating in policy evaluation, nurses can provide valuable insights and perspectives that may not be considered by policymakers or other stakeholders. This can include issues related to patient care, such as access to care, quality of care, and patient safety.
In addition to advocating for their patients, nurses can also use their knowledge and expertise to advocate for policies that support the overall health and well-being of the community. This can include policies related to public health, access to healthcare, and healthcare financing.
It is important for nurses to recognize the important role that they can play in policy evaluation and to actively engage in the process of evaluating and advocating for policies that will benefit their patients and the community.
Cleveland, K. A., Vernaglia, L., Knoblauch, D. J., Nibling, M., & Bonder, J. (2021). Duty Calls: The NP as board member. The Nurse Practitioner, 46(8), 12-16.
Goudreau, K. A., & Smolenski, M. C. (2013). Health policy and advanced practice nursing: Impact and implications. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
Hynson, E., Bloomer, J., Samson, Z., Price, K., Tran, D., & Muench, U. (2022). Workforce Trends of Underrepresented Minority Nurses in the United States Over the Last Decade: Progress Towards Equal Representation?. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 23(4), 215-227.
Mathiason, M. A., & Lindquist, R. (2020). Naheed Meghani, PhD, MS, BSN, RN; Mary Fran Tracy, PhD, APRN, CNS, FCNS, FAAN; Susan O’Conner-Von, PhD, RN-BC; Niloufar Niakosari Hadidi, PhD, RN, APRN, CNS-BC, FAHA. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 39(1), 47-57.
Patton, R. M., Zalon, M. L., Ludwick, R., & American Nurses Association, (2015). Nurses making policy: From bedside to boardroom. New York: American Nurses Association: Springer Publishing Company.
Shariff, N. (2014). Factors that act as facilitators and barriers to nurse leaders’ participation in health policy development. BMC Nursing, 13, 20. doi: 10.1186/1472-6955-13-20
Woo, B., Lee, J., & Tam, W. (2017). The impact of the advanced practice nursing role on the quality of care, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost in the emergency and critical care settings: a systematic review. Human resources for health, 15(1), 63. doi: 10.1186/s12960-017-0237-9
Post (Discussion) 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 X of Week X Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ posts by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues. Offer suggestions how nurses need to be involved as APRN, be specific as to what one can do as a member of various committees/groups to influence policy. Two references (sources) for each student respond. ONE to 1 1/2 paper long on each respond.
Nurs 6050 Module Sample Answer:
There are several opportunities for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making:

Political action committees (PACs) and advocacy organizations: RNs and APRNs can join or create PACs or advocacy organizations that work to promote policies that align with their professional goals and values. This can involve lobbying lawmakers, participating in advocacy campaigns, or providing testimony at legislative hearings. One challenge that may arise is the need to balance participation in these activities with other professional responsibilities, such as clinical practice. To overcome this challenge, RNs and APRNs can prioritize their involvement and seek support from colleagues or supervisors to help manage their workload.

Professional organizations: Many professional organizations, such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS), have committees or task forces that focus on policy-making and advocacy. RNs and APRNs can volunteer to serve on these committees and work to shape the policies and positions of the organization. One challenge that may arise is the need to navigate complex organizational structures and decision-making processes. To overcome this challenge, RNs and APRNs can seek mentorship from more experienced colleagues, educate themselves about the policies and positions of the organization, and actively participate in meetings and discussions.

To advocate for and communicate the existence of these opportunities to participate in policy-making, RNs and APRNs can:

Utilize social media and other online platforms: RNs and APRNs can use social media and other online platforms, such as blogs or podcasts, to share information about policy-making opportunities and promote advocacy campaigns. This can help to raise awareness of these opportunities and mobilize a broader network of healthcare professionals to participate in policy-making.

Engage in grassroots organizing: RNs and APRNs can organize events, such as town hall meetings or educational forums, to engage with their communities and advocate for policies that align with their professional goals and values. This can be an effective way to build support for policy initiatives and bring attention to the important role that RNs and APRNs play in shaping healthcare policy.

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