NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making

Opportunities that exist for Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practicing Registered Nurses (APRNs) to actively participate in policymaking

Registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practicing registered nurses (APRNs) have several ways to actively participating in policymaking. One-way nurses can actively participate is by joining professional nursing organizations such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) and become a lobbyist at Capitol Hill (ANA, n.d.). Nurses are then able to share their experiences and stories firsthand with the support of their other ANA group members. Another way that nurses can actively participate is to write to their state representatives. Unfortunately, not all policy makers have worked the front line of health care and they are unaware of the rules and regulations impacting nursing and other areas of health care. Unless you reach out and talk to them about the issues you have noticed they might never know (Brokaw, 2016). When nurses have the ability and opportunity to voice their concerns, opinions and information with legislators it builds knowledge and confidence with the legislators to aid in interpreting issues (Milstead & Short, 2019) NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.

Challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges

            Some challenges with these opportunities when advocating in policymaking is that the legislator may not agree with you and will not change their current protocol. This may be because of a funding issue, or they truly do not agree with the stand that you take on the policy. That does not always mean, give up, it may mean stand stronger and find more individuals’ that agree with you to advocate for a change. Another issue may arise if you do not voice your concern at the right time (Milstead & Short, 2019). There is always a time and a place to mention to voice your issues, and now may or may not be the time. The question is, how do you know when is the right time? Sometimes you do not, unfortunately and it becomes trial an error, but you can always reach out to others to see when they think it would be an appropriate time to voice your concerns and knowledge NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.

Strategies you might make to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities to participate in policymaking.

Strategies that I may use to become a better advocate for participating in policy-making is to conduct thorough research. I would look on the (n.d.) website and read about policy and who is a proponent and opponent. I would research other articles regarding other people’s takes on the policy, review the original policy if there is one, and reach out to other health care providers to see their point of view prior to reaching out to the legislator about my concerns. I would want to make sure that I have accurate, up-to-date, information before interacting with the legislators.

Another strategy is to be sure I am clear in confident on the topic I am advocating for. I would want to be sure that I have organizational committees behind me such as the ANA, hospital floor committees, nursing union if applicable, and any other resource or group of people that would have my back to campaign my concerns, since change typically happens with increased numbers. Nurses need to continue to stay alert and continue to be assertive with change and actively bring problems to the attention of policymakers (Milstead & Short, 2019). Especially since nurses are one of the major factors to ensure a healthy future for Americans (Milstead & Short, 2019).



American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2021, from

Brokaw, J. (2016). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. American Nurse. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from,state%20representatives%20regarding%20healthcare%20policy. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2021 from

Milstead, J. A., & Short, N.M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones Bartlett Learning NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.


You made some valid points.  Sometimes the politician may not agree with your point of view.  We, as nurses, are known for being crafty and creative.  Therefore, researching the politician before approaching them helps.  “Influencing public policy change can be difficult and complex, particularly for those with limited power and resources” (Cullerton, Donnet, Lee, & Gallegos , 2018).  Changes to policies are “conducted through complex interactions and negotiations amongst a range of stakeholders, including politicians, interest groups, advisers, bureaucrats, and a range of other parties of interests” (Cullerton, Donnet, Lee, & Gallegos , 2018).

In the recent pandemic, some nurses appealed to social media to help get their point across and help bring about policy changes (Anders, 2020).  With the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage and many calling COVID a hoax, the viral videos of overworked medical staff and cries of PPE shortage helped with policy changes.

I do agree that it is challenging to convince our elected officials that change is needed NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.


Anders, R. L. (2020, October 6). Engaging nurses in health policy in the era of COVID‐19. Nursing Forum, 56(1), 89 – 94. Retrieved from

Cullerton, K., Donnet, T., Lee, A., & Gallegos , D. (2018, August 31). Effective advocacy strategies for influencing government nutrition policy: a conceptual model. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15(83).

Thorne, S. (2021, February 1). Time to get loud. Nursing Inquiry, 28(1). Retrieved from

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 NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.

To Prepare:

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

By Day 3 of Week 8

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.

By Day 6 of Week 8

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’* posts by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.


Some opportunities for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making are joining professional organizations, actively participating with the union at their place of employment, writing to elected officials, or running for office (Brusie, 2021).  Nursing is the largest medical profession globally, but collaboration and partnership with other disciplines are needed for successful policy-making.   Advancements “in interdisciplinary teamwork, informatics and technology, implementing evidence-based practice, and quality improvement” are ways for nurses to collaborate (Brokaw, 2016).  Nurses become frustrated when other non-nursing professionals make policies that govern their practice.  Nurses fail to realize the full potential they have in influencing changes to policy-making.  Their lack of understanding of the “differences or connections between policy and politics” adds to the barrier of their involvement (Turale & Kunaviktikul , 2019).

Some factors that influence nurses’ limited participation in policy and politics are due to their “lack of awareness, little opportunity for involvement, limited formal health care policy education in nursing, and lack of support to generate the evidence needed to influence healthcare policy” (Brokaw, 2016).  With the release of the “2020 State of the World’s Nursing report by the World Health Organization, data on how nurses can contribute to the attainment of the sustainable development goals and universal health coverage is expected to be an influential document for policy development for the next 3–5 years (Turale & Kunaviktikul , 2019).  These policies encourage nursing leadership training and development.



Since lack of knowledge is the most significant factor contributing to nurses not participating, one strategy is I would have to become more knowledgeable.  I am aware of some of the factors involved when lobbying politicians.  I used to attend the board meetings for my state board of nursing. Also, as a member of my union, I participated when advocating to politicians.  I stopped participating in both activities, as my other life duties demanded more of my attention.  Therefore, I can start going back to the board meetings to start getting more involved. I am still a member of multiple nursing organizations, but I do not actively participate.



Brokaw, J. J. (2016, September 22). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. Retrieved from American Nurses:

Brusie, C. (2021, January 18). ANA president encourages nurses to get into politics and advocacy. Retrieved from

Turale, S., & Kunaviktikul , W. (2019, August 20). The contribution of nurses to health policy and advocacy requires leaders to provide training and mentorship. Retrieved from Wiley Online Library:



The information you provided in this week’s discussion, is very true. As a nurse that struggles to actively participate in nursing politics, I could not agree more. With nursing being one of the largest medical professions, we also have a persistent voice in changing and redesigning healthcare (Milstead & Short, 2019). Although, there are a lot of unknowns for nursing in policymaking, there are courses and references we can utilize such as joining the ANA or another well- known association or group, that advocates for nurses (ANA, n.d.) NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.

With the unknowns and ‘lack’ of awareness, nurses should continue to research and advocate for their communities and the people the policies will affect. As Milstead & Short (2019, p. 13) stated, “The question is not whether nurses should become involved in the political system, but to what extent.” As a nurse, we are used to rules and regulations changes within a hospital, which seems daily, so we should continue to stay alert to national issues and be assertive when shining the light on the problems that are created by policymakers (Milstead & Short, 2019). This is important, because some of the policies that are being created nationally, make impact the care you provide day to day at your job.

With your participation in board meetings and other nursing organizations you have probably learned a lot about lobbying. As I am sure it is time consuming, there is great reward, especially if what you are fighting for is achieved. The unfortunate part is that you are typically unpaid, but you are providing a great service of being an advocate (Laureate Education, 2018, 15:33). As some say, time is money, and although you are providing a great service, sometimes money is the limiting factor for people, especially when you have a family at home. I am not saying, money is always the most important thing, but it does influence people to help others and is a dignified issue for many policymakers with decisions, unfortunately.


American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2021, from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Health policy and politics [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Milstead, J. A., & Short, N.M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones Bartlett Learning NURS 6050 – The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy-Making.

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