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The Role of the RNs and APRNs in Policy-Making

The Role of the RNs and APRNs in Policy-Making

Sample Answer 

The Role of the RNs and APRNs in Policy-Making

RNs and APRNs are critical to the overall performance of the healthcare system. In recent years, these professionals’ roles have evolved to include policymaking initiatives in addition to their traditional roles of providing treatment and care to patients. The RNs and APRNs are an important group that not only participates in policymaking processes but is also heavily involved in policy implementation (Vanhook et al., 2018). One could even argue that healthcare policies affect or influence the work of RNs and APRNs in providing clinical care far more than other workers except for physicians. As a result, these professionals should be at the forefront of seizing available opportunities to participate in policymaking.

The Possibilities

Successful healthcare policymaking necessitates the inclusion of RNs and APRNs in the decision-making processes of lawmaking—both the creation of new laws and the amendment of existing ones. As a result, medical professionals have various opportunities to participate in policymaking processes. This paper examines two opportunities for professionals to participate in policymaking. The first opportunity is to conduct research, identify patients’ needs, and evaluate care and treatment processes to identify policy gaps. Clearly, the work environment of RNs and APRNs is capable of supporting such initiatives. The second opportunity entails lobbying lawmakers with research-based information and community support to persuade them to table bills for the creation/establishment of policies in the form of laws. The research is also important for gathering any substances and adjusting policies in the form of bills with the public’s best interests in mind. It is also critical to note that any individual (including RNs and APRNs) can write a bill to be presented to the legislature. Even though RNs and APRNs have the ability to write bills to be introduced in the legislature, they require the participation of congressional representatives (as supporters) in order to do so (Teitelbaum & Wilensky, 2016).

The Difficulties

Indeed, advocating for policymaking by nursing practitioners is a topic that has grown in popularity in recent years. It is also a subject that, due to its novelty, has received little research. A close examination of the subject reveals that there are some obstacles that RNs and APRNs would face if they took advantage of the opportunities mentioned. Perhaps the most difficult challenge is that many RNs and APRNs have little conceptual understanding of not only the subject matter of policymaking mechanisms but also the available opportunities. Unquestionably, many RNs and APRNs see policy advocacy initiatives as a diversion from their primary responsibilities. It would be difficult for nurses to strike a balance between providing much-needed medical services and focusing on opportunities.

However, further examination of the situation reveals the possibility of a conflict of interest developing between the job descriptions of providing care and treatment to patients and politicking for policymaking… It is also important to remember that lobbying initiatives with politicians are traditionally viewed as initiatives involving the use of money, which nurses are likely to avoid or disregard….. Furthermore, if RNs and APRNs (primary carers) are not meaningfully involved in healthcare policymaking, they are likely to engage in workarounds in their clinical settings and job environments. Such endeavors can easily lead to compromise, putting the welfare and quality of care and treatment at risk.

Strategies for advocating for or communicating the availability of opportunities

This paper establishes two strategies for RNs and APRNs to educate themselves and seek the support of the community and relevant stakeholders in order to be in a good position to capitalize on opportunities. Enlightenment will require both training and the creation or use of meaningful social networks. There is a critical need for registered nurses, and advanced practice registered nurses to gain a solid understanding of health information technology integration. The technological tool “word cloud” to facilitate teamwork is a particular focus. Concerning the issue of personnel having little or inadequate knowledge of policymaking and the legislative process, there may be a need for the organization of training programs. This can be accomplished at the organizational or facility level or by enrolling in courses at specific learning institutions. RNs and APRNs may also take the initiative to pursue time management training in order to focus on opportunities without jeopardizing their work and responsibilities.

The nurses may use social networking to gain the support of members of the public. Recent community trends show that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most preferred platforms for communication, discussion, and enlightenment. These socializing platforms also provide opportunities for nurses to obtain relevant training in legislative and policymaking processes. Nurses may also interact and collaborate with other professionals who are knowledgeable about policy issues. In terms of the financial resources needed to take advantage of the opportunities, RNs and APRNs may seek the support of community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and other organizations or stakeholders in society. To make the most of the opportunities, RNs and APRNs should seek elective positions that will allow them to participate in and have a meaningful impact on policymaking processes. Furthermore, engagements with community stakeholders imply that RNs and APRNs will have a strong sense of advocacy to push for policymaking initiatives (Shelley, Kilgore, & Cherrington, 2017).


Policymaking is understood to aim to standardize the practice of clinicians such as RNs and APRNs. Nonetheless, the emphasis is on the processes focusing on the needs and welfare of the patients. As the primary carers, RNs and APRNs have the most direct interactions and associations with the patients. An examination of the situation reveals that RNs and APRNs are critical individuals who should be involved in healthcare policymaking. So far, there are numerous opportunities for these professionals to participate in a policymaking, many of which are not covered in this paper. Even so, there are some obstacles to taking advantage of these opportunities. However, with the proper implementation of some tried-and-true strategies, these clinicians may be able to contribute to policymaking in a critical sector of society.


Shelley, J., Kilgore, M., & Cherrington, A. (2017). Reducing Disparities in Access to Health Care. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 36(12), 2211. Retrieved online from

Teitelbaum, J. B., & Wilensky, S. E. (2016). Essentials of health policy and law. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Retrieved online from hl=en&lr=&id=R6DOCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=congress+pass+bill+law&ots =90rdTBdyVs&sig=WNg8VYDpMKIOuUE166aKagVA0lc

Vanhook, P., Bosse, J., Flinter, M., Poghosyan, L., Dunphy, L., & Barksdale, D. (2018). The American Academy of Nursing on policy: Emerging role of baccalaureate registered nurses in primary care (August 20, 2018). Nursing Outlook, 66(5), 512–517. Retrieved online from


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To Prepare:

Revisit the website and consider the role of RNs and APRNs in policy-making.

Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy-making.

The Role of the RNs and APRNs in Policy-Making

The Role of the RNs and APRNs 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.


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