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In order to enhance and promote the nursing profession, patient care and outcomes, health systems, and public policy, the profession has a long history of advocacy participation. The practice of participating in political processes to propose, legislate, and enforce policy and structural reforms to benefit people, particularly within nursing organizations, continues to be a crucial platform for policy advocacy. It may be important to strengthen the role of nursing organizations by looking at their areas of influence and impact on laws, decision-making procedures, and advocacy strategies. The policy advocacy efforts of organizations in other areas can teach us a lot (Chiu et al., 2021).
Despite having more than 4 million practitioners and being one of the professions with the highest public reputation in America, only a small percentage of nurses participate in political lobbying and advocacy. It is on to nurses to speak out and utilize their expertise to change health care policy for the better. A nurse lobbyist can effectively affect policy results. Knowing when and why to design and employ advocacy techniques is crucial for this reason. The Lobbying Disclosure Act defines the criteria and restrictions that apply to several types of lobbying. ( Mason et all., 2020).
In addition to promoting nurses’ proper place in policy making forums, nursing institutions and regulatory agencies should promote and train nurses to work as policy makers rather than implementers of policies (Rasheed et al., 2020)
One of the many policy matters on which nurses can advocate is nurse staffing, which is the process of balancing the need for patient care with the staff’s capacity to provide it. It has long been understood that there is a connection between a nurse’s caseload and patient outcomes like mortality, related infections, and monetary expenditures. To create the optimal staffing models that would ensure the best outcomes for both patients and nurses, it is difficult to examine the characteristics of nurses (Martin and Zölnierek.,2020).
Another policy concern that should be brought up in Congress is workplace violence, which shouldn’t just affect emergency rooms but also nurses and other healthcare professionals who work in other healthcare settings.
Addressing advocacy safeguards, such as those that include whistleblower protection, is also crucial. If nurses reveal harmful nursing, medical, or hospital practices, they must not face reprisals. Lobbing must close any gaps in nurses’ protection as they become apparent in order to guarantee a change in policy.
Chiu, P., Cummings, G. G., Thorne, S., & Schick-Makaroff, K. (2021). Policy advocacy and nursing organizations: A scoping review. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 22(4), 271–291. https://doi.org/10.1177/15271544211050611
Martin, E., & Zolnierek, C. (2020). Beyond the nurse practice act: Making a difference through advocacy. Online journal of issues in nursing, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.3912/ojin.vol25no01man02
Rasheed, S. P., Younas, A., & Mehdi, F. (2020). Challenges, extent of involvement, and the impact of nurses’ involvement in politics and policy making in last two decades: An integrative review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(4), 446–455. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnu.12567