Healthcare Program Design and Implementation

Healthcare Program Design and Implementation Module 4: Healthcare Program Design and Implementation
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: Healthcare Program Design and Implementation

  1. Revisit the website provided in the Resources and consider the role of RNs and APRNs in policy-making.
  2. Reflect on potential opportunities that may exist for RNs and APRNs to participate in the policy-making process.

For the discussion: 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.

Resources-You can use


RE: Discussion – Example Healthcare Program Design and Implementation
Nurses and APRNs serve as advocates every day in the communities, workplace, and families of patients.  According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) website, their mission is focused on advocacy which states that “ANA believes that advocacy is a pillar of nursing.  Nurses instinctively advocate for their patients, in their workplaces, and in their community; but legislative and political advocacy is no less important to advancing the profession and patient care” (American Nurses Association. 2018).
Nurses can participate in policy making by presenting their evidence-based research on issues they want to present to the Congress.  Most health care bills presented to Congress were presented by RNs and APRNs to representatives which then continue to legislation.  One example is the H.R. 6686 known as the Bringing Additional Nurses to the Fight Act.  This bill was introduced to the House of Representatives on May 5, 2020 with the purpose to amend the Public Health Service Act to increase access to accelerated post graduate nursing programs ( 2020).  Representative Debbie Powell sponsored this bill.  APRNs in her district advocated for this bill to provide more nurses in the district.
Another way RNS and APRNs can actively take part in policy making is through their place of work.  They can be a voice of other health care workers.  Nurses see processes of effectivity and efficiency in the workplace by identifying problems with health care quality and evaluating possible solutions, nurse researchers have contributed to the evidence and policies pertaining on health care changes (Ellenbecker, C.H., & Edward, J. 2016).
RNs and APRNs are great advocates for the patients and communities but it is not without challenges in their journey of implementation of such policies.  One of the challenges would be the unwillingness of nurses to stay up to date with the policies.  According to the article from New Challenges of Public Health: Bringing the Future of Personalized Health care into Focus, it stated that “nurses are stuck in their old ways” (Ricciardi,W., & Boccia, S. 2017).  Overcoming these challenges involves education and training to nurses, good leadership and community awareness.  Nurses should be educated to be more flexible on these changes.
In conclusion, RNs and APRNs can actively participate in the policy process as well as in the formulation of policies to provide quality health care and sustainable costs to all individuals.  According to the book from Health Policy and Politics, it stated that “To be effective in the process, RNs and APRNs must understand how the process works and at which points the greatest impact might be made.  The design phase of the policy process is the point at which the original intent of a solution to a problem is understood and the appropriate tools are emphasized to achieve policy success” (Mistead, J.A., & Short, N.M. 2019).  In general, RNs and APRNs greatly impact in the introduction, implementation and evaluation of the policy made for the welfare of the patients or the community.


American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Advocacy. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from Healthcare Program Design and Implementation

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