Nurses should be involved in the formulation, implementation, and review of healthcare policies (Milstead & Short, 2019). Policy review is the process of evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of implemented healthcare policies (Laureate Education, 2018). Nurses can participate in policy review by using research and data to back up legislation on health policy issues. During policy review, reliable, evidence-based data can be gathered and reflected upon to improve research and for the implementation of better policy. The legislation can be presented with concrete proposal for policy enhancement. Nurses can only make this possible through active participation (Ellenbecker, et al, 2017).
How can nurses participate in policy review? Nurses can join committees at workplaces to focus on quality assurance and monitoring of patient outcomes. Current policies can be monitored to ensure that they are evidence-based, consistently implemented, and outcomes are effective. This is in line with the spirit of advocacy as outlined by the American nurses Association (American Nurses Association, n.d). Another way to participate in policy review is by becoming an active member of a professional nursing organization. Professional organizations help with data gathering and dissemination of evaluated data (ANA, n.d.). Nurses participate in policy review when they help with data and knowledge gathering towards a better policy and outcome evaluation. By joining a professional organization, the nurse will learn from other professional nurses on policy review and how to be active in policy review.
Challenges that can be encountered include lack of awareness/information on current procedures/policies. Lack of training on policy review, difficulty interacting with stakeholders, being unsure of how to go about change implementation, and uncertainty on the process of policy review are challenges that nurses might face in policy review (Glasgow et al, 2003). Also, the leadership of the nurses’ workplace might be resistant to change due to politics. This can make policy review to become politically cumbersome and somewhat impossible for the nurse/APRN’s participation.
To overcome the challenges, nursing curriculum should address the lapse by including leadership and policy implementation/review into their programs. Nurses should also change their views on politics by being politically active. Nurses often view politics as irrelevant and also feel indifferent about the process (Ellenbecker et al, 2017). Nursing education should include politics at all levels to help nurses in their role delivery. Nurses can also make the best use of policy review being frontline workers by providing feedbacks on healthcare interventions (Glasgow et al, 2003). This will guide the implementation of high-quality healthcare interventions and provide excellent outcomes for patients and nurses as healthcare roles are delivered.
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