Week 1: Nurse Leader in Healthcare Policy Role

NR 650 Week 2: Involvement throughout the Policy Cycle
August 2, 2018
NR650 W6 Initiation of Capstone Project
August 2, 2018

Week 1: Nurse Leader in Healthcare Policy Role

As you begin your practicum course, reflect on your professional career and consider the reasons you are interested in the healthcare policy role. During this discussion, identify those aspects of your professional career that have led you to the goal of becoming a nurse leader in healthcare policy. If you have been in a leadership or policy role during your career, identify the preparation you have for the healthcare policy role. Review the program and course outcomes, and identify areas that you would like to emphasize during the practicum experience.

   Sample Answer 1

Dr. Fildes and class,

To answer this, I must start with looking into my own career path. I am a nurse leader confronted with issues that can be influenced by health care policy change. Sometimes I found myself in situations which are very frustrating. I realized that nurses must play a key role in policy making, so it will affect the patient care. Nurse leaders must spend time in understanding the healthcare systems and how can we change them. It is very unfortunate to see the way nurses are working in an environment where there is no time to breath let alone think clearly.
What I would like to see is the policy making in action. I have been a part of policy discussions, but I am not sure that it really came to light. What I understand is that sometimes large organizations make policies which protect them rather than helping the people. What I am learning is that nurses must have deep knowledge and an ability to influence the current situation, so they can make the changes. There are nurses (not necessarily nurse leaders) who have the greatest ideas which can influence the patient care and outcome. To be successful in influencing healthcare policy nurses 1) improving the patient experience of care, including quality and satisfaction, 2) improving the health of populations, and 3) reducing per capita cost of healthcare. (Buke,2016).
Nurses should be able to incorporate their research discoveries into public policies. According Institute of Medicine -Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health is a great example of how nurses role and responsibilities and education can change the healthcare system. I believe not enough done to get the nurse’s voice heard. We are still struggling with staffing issues that potentially impact patients’ safety every day. Nurses have the ideas for change but there is a lack of self-empowerment and support from leadership. Majority of the nursing leaders work under major healthcare organizations can’t even speak up about public policies. Nurses must be involved in local, state and national politics for nurses to have a voice in public health care.
Buke, S. A. (2016). Influence through Policy, (42), 2. Retrieved from www.reflectionsonnursingleadership.org/commentary/more-commentary/.
Jones, D. K. (2018). The Importance of State Leadership: From Kentucky on Reducing Disparities in Insurance Coverage. American Journal of Public Health, 108(7), 848-850. doi:10.2105/ajph.2018.304460

 Sample Answer 2

Hello Professor and Class,

As I begin my practicum course, I look back at my career and reasons that I decided to pursue the healthcare policy specialty track and realize that I made the right decision. My passion for healthcare policy stems from my personal and professional experience as a nurse. My three year nursing career has exposed me to a wide array of issues that necessitate policy interventions. One of these issues has been healthcare disparities among the minority in the American society. As a nurse, I have continually lived to the belief that most healthcare disparities could be solved by implementing policies that delineate actions that have been proven to alleviate those issues.

My professional experience in healthcare policy interventions goes back to the time I was pursuing my public health degree. As part of my capstone project, I was able to implement a diabetes prevention program for African Americans – a program that was implemented over a period of 10 weeks. The diabetes prevention program entailed policy actions such as patient education, and awareness spreading. These simple actions were enshrined in the hospital’s routine practices and over the implementation period, we recorded an increase in the number of African American patients who sought to be screened for diabetes. The project inspired me to pursue health policy when I later joined nursing school because I realized that through simple actions, a healthcare worker could impact a certain health population or the entire society in a major way.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) essentials for master’s education in nursing, a mastered-prepared nurse should be able to able to intervene at the system level through the policy development process and to employ advocacy strategies to influence health and health care (AACN, 2011). Similarly, I perceive a nurse leader as a significant force in enhancing change in healthcare. As an African American, I have always been conscious to the fact that this population is mostly underserved in the US. More so, the plight of the African American is worsened by socio-economic factors such as low levels of education, and unemployment (Spanakis, & Golden, 2013). The idea of healthcare disparity among African Americans coupled with my previous experience in implementing a diabetes prevention program has coined a desire to implement a similar project in my MSN capstone.

The NR650 course and program outcomes will guide me in the fulfillment of the capstone requirements. All the program outcomes are relevant to my capstone goal but I would like to single out “providing high quality, safe, patient-centered care grounded on holistic principles”, and “advocate for positive health outcomes through compassionate, evidence-based, collaborative advanced nursing practice” (2011). These program outcomes relate to the role of an MSN prepared nurse leader in advocating for healthcare change with the goal of achieving better patient outcomes. Advocacy and policy making go hand in hand, therefore, the fulfillment of these program and course outcomes will enhance my quest to pursue a policy-related capstone project.



American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. http://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/Publications/MastersEssentials11.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Spanakis, E. K., & Golden, S. H. (2013). Race/ethnic difference in diabetes and diabetic complications. Current diabetes reports13(6), 814-823.

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