Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Module 1 Discussion

Health Policies

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Lillian Wald and Mary Brewster took cogent leaps in the progression of nursing influence, with the development of The Henry Street Settlement in 1893 (Mason, Gardner, Outlaw, O’Grady 2016). This action paved the way for the evolution of better health care policy, centered around community needs. Now, health policy is influenced by research, media, politics, lobbyists, and much more; based on community values.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay


The Structure of health care policy is yet complicated, with the basis of core determinants of health that influences policy. Said determinants are comprised of factors such as gender, education and literacy, physical environment, culture, and not to say the least, social status. (Policies and Politics, page 3). Social status stands out, as it is a headline issue with health care coverage. Oppressed communities are at stake, as they have exhausted even the thought of better health access due to low literacy, no access to good jobs, and poor nutritional standards.

The process of health care policy has substantial dependency on nurse leadership. Meaning, nurses who understand how policy drives coverage and care should advocate for the community. Not many nurses want to approach the frontlines to tackle the many challenges in this specific side of the industry. However, one must understand the sources of health care policies and their effect on society to generate change. According to an article written by Susan Taft and Kevin Nanna of Kent State University, public sources are the core influence of governmental bodies constructing policies. Meaning a vast existence of public education should be available to communities that do not quite understand the process. Together, Taft and Nanna broke down the Ways to Influencing Public Policy. This included significant points such as media impact by writing letters and getting headlines. The same tactic is seen by many politicians during the elections; designed to stir the emotions of voters. Another is to join an organization that believes in and is driven by advocacy. Consistent research is necessary to be in-tuned with public issues, which can help in every aspect of said suggestion to create power in numbers.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

With the focus on public health, the Affordable Care Act and its purpose contributed greatly to the influencing of certain health policies; so that more people could afford care. Such policies included safe health practices by health institutions, which lead to care improvement by placing penalties on readmission less than thirty days. But, at the same time, provided funding for improved outcomes driven by the implementation of new policies. However, coverage impacted by zip code is certainly a topic where more nurse leaders are needed to address. We are talking about a level of nursing leadership that could shift the issues affecting upstream factors. Kohnke’s philosophy of functional advocacy speaks volumes, in that it expresses the representation of patient voice, empowering patient involvement and can eventually lead to policy changing as it relates to improving health access in low-income communities.

Like Lillian Wald and Mary Brewster, placing this task in the hands of nurse leaders who could charm an interdisciplinary care team. A team made up of doctors, lawyers, politicians, social workers, and advanced practice nurses who can make an indent on the community. With the rising of health care costs, we need a change now.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay


Mason, D. J., Gardner, B. D., Outlaw, H. F., & O’Grady, T. E. (2016). Policy and Politics: In Nursing and Health Care. (7th ed.).
Nanna, K.M, Taft, S.H (2008). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice. What Are the Sources of Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice? 9, 274-287.

This paper explores a nurses role in health care, policies implemented, and the legislative process in which they operate. Nurses are not only advocates for themselves; they are also an advocate for their patients. Therefore, it is important for nurses to be active in lobbying for much needed policies that concern their healthcare and wellbeing. It sheds some light on various organizations set into place in which these nurses can come together and have a voice in which to enable the changes desired and needed for individual voices that may not have been heard otherwise. It explores a few specific healthcare policies that have had major influences on healthcare management as well as the nurses themselves. In addition, it outlines some of the legislative processes, budgetary and bill policies, as well as some of the programs not otherwise known to have been started through nurses rallying together to allow citizens better healthcare regardless of race, socio-economic status, or age. Nurses truly are the apex of healthcare policy and legislature.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Legislature, by definition, is a powerful and intimidating body of officials that seem to do works above that of your everyday individual out in the workforce living pay check to paycheck. However, when closely examined, legislature starts with that very individual. It is said that it takes an entire village to raise a child; as is the case of health care policies and legislature. Health care is universal to everyone in the fact that everyone needs healthcare and is therefore, affected by its policies. Everyone has the power to make changes that can benefit them as an individual. These individuals bind with other like-minded individuals and form a united voice in which a platform is set for desired changes to be heard. Nurses are at the very apex of this voice as they are on the front-lines with these individuals giving the day to day care and have first-hand knowledge to help in health care policies and legislature.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Politics plays a key role in determining what health care policies are lobbied, passed and implemented. The American Nurses organization is extremely involved in the political side of healthcare by writing, lobbying and even visiting their representatives to advocate for patients as well as nurses issues needing to be addressed. A few topics being brought before the State Capitol by the Mississippi Nurses Association for the 2013 Congressional meeting are tax breaks for doctors with a practice in rural areas, making each state’s licensing board responsible for writing their own regulations for licensure, additional funding for nurses working in the public health system, and eliminating an insurance company’s ability to dictate what medications their patients could take based on cost (Dickson, 2012).Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Political Action Committees (PACs or Special Interest Groups SICs) are established either by registering independently or becoming a PAC that arises out of an organization already established; such as the American Nurses Association. These committees begin a large percentage of the legislative issues being lobbied for today. PACs raise money to be spent on television campaigns, famous people to speak on their behalf, have literature printed, funds to hold events, and any other resource needed to help advocate on the special interest of the Committee. The American Nurses Association’s PAC raises money to support those federal candidates that hold the same beliefs and agenda as the American Nurses Association. The ANA/PAC is bipartisan and has a Board of Trustees to ensure there is no misappropriation of funds on their behalf (American Nurses Association, 2012).Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Specific bills are required by Congress for the government to get the approval to spend money. These bills are known as Appropriation bills. Appropriation bills represent the spending of cabinet departments and all must be congressionally sanctioned and signed by the President of the United States and must be presented and approved for each fiscal year. Such bills are named for their specific need such as the Taxpayer Relief Act or the Homeland Security Act. There are some amendments added, known as “pet” programs, to get bills enacted and gain votes from certain members of Congress before they adjourn. These pet programs are added just before the close of the Congressional meeting because members know the President does not have line item veto authority and must either sign or veto the bill, and many times the public is not aware of certain disbursements until after they have been approved.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Health programs are divided into two categories based on how the budgets are controlled; Discretionary and Entitlements. While Discretionary programs are annually appropriated, they are considered controllable. Discretionary programs are primarily research services for communicable diseases, training and family planning. Entitlement programs are those that are not easily controlled due to the appropriation demographic being based on age, disabilities, prepayment, or socio-economic status. Those programs are known as Social Security, veteran’s pay, Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. The only way to control appropriations is to change the eligibility requirements of the receiving parties. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has been implemented to oversee this massive operation and is established from the Secretary of Health’s office. This department is comprised of agencies representing all levels of the state and government; from the Surgeon General, the Food and Drug Administration, to the local interviewing office. (Creasia & Friberg 2011)Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

There are currently three problems in the nursing world. There are not enough nursing educators that are doctoral-prepared to meet the need, there needs to be more nurses with baccalaureate level or advanced practice nurses with masters-level preparation, and there is also an issue with competency-based education. It is suspected that there is a shortage of nursing educators that are doctoral-prepared due to a large number of nurses that retired in the early 2000’s. There have been a lot of new doctoral programs that have opened in the past few years however, there is still a shortage of educators. Health related businesses have come to encourage those seeking a nurse’s education to now obtain a baccalaureate or master’s in order to have a more holistic approach to nursing. Many candidates, however, opt for obtaining an associate’s degree instead due to the program requiring less time, money, and required courses.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

“Health policies, or decisions regarding the health care system, are developed and implemented through several avenues. Congressional and state legislation; federal, state, and local rules and regulations for agencies; and appropriation decisions are methods to develop health policy.” (Creasia & Friberg 2011) This is the definition of health policies and who makes them. Health policies are usually only made through legislation but there are many parties who contribute to them. Public opinion, the economy, societal demographics, professional expertise, technology, and overall knowledge about health all contribute to making health policies.


There have been many different health policies, some in which have been very influential. The three most important policies before 1990 were Medicare, Medicaid, and the Social Security Act of 1935. The Social Security Act of 1935 established the Social Security Administration and the pension income. Medicare provides health coverage for the elderly and Medicaid provides care for the poor and needy citizens in America. These policies were created to ensure that everyone in America was ensured health coverage even if they couldn’t get it for themselves. A policy that was very influential for nurses and nursing school was the Nurse Training Act of 1964 and it was an initial federal act for professional nurse training.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

In 1990, a very important policy was passed concerning hospitals. “With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” (“About OSHA”) OSHA was created to make rules for hospitals to follow that would help prevent the transmission of infections and diseases. With OSHA hospitals have to follow certain procedures for handling blood, bodily fluids, and biohazard wastes.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

In the 1990’s there were also a few really important acts. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Welfare Reform Act in 1996, and The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibited discrimination towards citizens with mental or physical disabilities and the Welfare Reform Act prohibited people from staying on Welfare longer than five years and it requires that they must have a job within two years. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s purpose is so that citizens will have insurance when they are transferring in between jobs. It also contains rules for hospitals and institutions protecting patient’s health data.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

From 2001 to the present, there has also been a lot of health policies passed. Three of the most common were The Nurse Reinvestment Act, Medicare Modernization Act, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. The Nurse Reinvestment Act gives funding for recruitment, retention, and education of nurses. The Medicare Modernization Act created Part D and Part C drug benefits. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act reauthorized CHIP’s until 2013.

The State Nurse Practice Acts defines the rules and regulations for nursing education and licensure. They require that all nurses graduate from a state board approved college and that students pass the NCLEX after graduating. The NCLEX is the National Council Licensure Examination and it is a test to ensure that nursing students learned everything they needed to learn in school before they are licensed to care for patients.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

In the past few years nurses have really became active in health policy and politics. Nurses have even started serving as legislatures to help pass health policies! “As nurses become more informed, passionate, and committed about their leadership role in the policy arena, legislation at the state and federal levels will require input from nurses to advocate for patients, for the public, and for themselves. (Creasia & Friberg 2011)Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

President Obama signed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care of 2010 on March 23, 2010. “The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the historic health reform legislation signed into law in 2010, promotes access to care and strengthens consumer protections. But by supporting the integration of clinical medicine with population-based prevention, the ACA also builds on and strengthens the foundation for prevention and wellness established by Healthy People, the nation’s health promotion and disease prevention aspirations for a healthier nation.” (Fielding, Teutsch, & Koh 2012) The main point of “Obamacare” is to reduce the number of uninsured Americans and to reduce the overall cost of health care.Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

Nurses play a vital role in health policy and planning. Nurses are advocates for both themselves and their patients. It is imperative that nurses play a role in health policy and planning to ensure quality health care and an effective practice environment.

Policies and Procedures in Nursing Practice Policies and procedures in nursing practice are important for nurses to perform and to deliver quality of care and patient safety. Policies and procedures help nurses to prevent errors and carry out procedures safely to the patients. It also brings uniformity in following organizational guidelines. Policies and procedures are designed to influence and determine major decisions and actions, and activities that take place within the boundaries set by them. Procedures are the specific methods employed to express policies in action in day to day operations. Policies and procedures are made for the users easily understandable, well organized, and easily accessible Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay
The giver identified the patient and explained the procedure to the patient before starting the procedure. Hospital stays can be confusing and stressful for patients and it’s very important to explain the plan of care and to educate patient to alleviate this stress. Patient should have a clear understanding of the procedure and have agreement and cooperation with the care giver. While this writer was watching the procedure, the caregiver forgot to wash her hands thoroughly before starting the procedure. This writer stopped the caregiver before she touched the patient’s dressing. This writer informed the caregiver the importance of hand washing. The caregiver washed her hands thoroughly with soap and water for fifteen seconds. She don clean gloves and carefully removed the old dressing and disposed in accordance with blood and body fluids and universal precautions. She then inspected the insertion site for any signs of infection like swelling, redness and exudates. Then she confirmed catheter placement, location, patency, and ensured the catheter is secure in place. The caregiver washed her hands again and opened the sterile dressing kit. The caregiver put on the mask and requested patient to keep face away from the dressing site. She then put on sterile gloves and cleaned the area as per policy.  Health Policy That Influence Nursing Practice Essay

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