Discussion: the role of the rn/aprn in policy evaluation (needs at | NURS 6050 – Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health | Walden University

In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making. A critical component of any policy design is evaluation of the results. How comfortable are you with the thought of becoming involved with such matters?

Some nurses may be hesitant to get involved with policy evaluation. The preference may be to focus on the care and well-being of their patients; some nurses may feel ill-equipped to enter the realm of policy and political activities. However, as you have examined previously, who better to advocate for patients and effective programs and polices than nurses? Already patient advocates in interactions with doctors and leadership, why not with government and regulatory agencies?

In this Discussion, you will reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.

To Prepare:

  • In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making.
  • Review the Resources and reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.

By Day 3 of Week 9

Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that currently exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review. 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. Be specific and provide examples.

Reply to the discussion (Taylor)-Needs 2 paragraph and at least 3 references

Policy Review in Nursing

Main Question Post- Nurses need to be a part of the policy review process to better their organizations and careers. Nurses can participate in policy review by joining a professional nursing organization. According to (Derouin 2019), professional organizations are “asked to assist with data collection and eventual dissemination of summative evaluation data” (p. 122). With nurses helping to gather data, they can participate in policy review by gathering information and knowledge to better a policy and evaluating the outcomes. Professional organizations are a great way to learn from others in your organization and get their opinion on policy review. Nurses can also participate in policy review by using evidence-based research and data to contact their legislation regarding health policy issues or concerns. During policy review, gathering reliable information and reflecting on it can help improve research and implement better policy. By presenting legislation with a concrete proposal to enhance policy, the review process will help improve any issues. Nurses will better understand the importance of policy review by being an active participant.

Challenges may arise when you mix nurses and policy review. When joining a professional organization, you may deal with the others’ opinions that you don’t quite agree upon. Professional organizations help build your networking team, but if your ideas and opinions don’t match others, it can make it difficult for you to build a strong team. According to Derouin (2019), a few challenges to health policy evaluation include lack of resources to complete assessment, lack of comparative results, and social media. Lack of resources could be a challenge, but joining a professional organization can provide you with many resources for a policy review. Lack of results could be a challenge, but engaging in evidence-based research can help you form a proposal to send to the legislature to improve policy review. With the upcoming presidential election, health policy has been discussed a lot on social media. Social media is a great way to discuss and learn the opinions of others. Using social media, Professional Nursing Organizations can share policy information amongst their members and followers (Waddell, 2018). Social media and ever-changing technology can help nursing challenges when participating in policy review, such as HIPPA violations. Policy evaluation “serves as the key to improving quality, safety, efficiency of clinical practice as well as assessing the impact of emerging innovations and science (Polit & Peck, 2012)” (Derouin, 2019, p. 118). Whether it’s through joining a professional organization, accessing social media, or using evidence-based research, nurses need to be active participants in policy review to better their profession, organization, and communities.

Strategies to communicate issues between nurses and policy review are essential. Gazarian et al. (2020) recommended the using research over how to put health policy into action to help determine ways to improve health care.  One strategy to help with writing to the legislature regarding policy review would be to use writing resources, like Grammarly, to help with punctuation and plagiarism. Another approach when writing to legislation would be to research evidence-based data using reliable and credible databases. Nurses need to use evidence-based research to improve health policy as well as healthcare as a whole. The ability to search for reliable and up-to-date information will help you construct a solid proposal to present to the legislature. A strategy to advocate about joining professional organizations would be to reach out to fellow APRNs in your community. Communicate and see if they are involved in any professional organizations and persuade them to join with you. Banding together to work as a team will lead to success.


Derouin, A. (2019). Health policy and social program evaluation. In J. A. Milstead, & N. M. Short (Eds.), Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed., pp 115-131). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning

Gazarian, P., Ballout, S., Heelan-Fancher, L., & Sundean, L. J. (2020). Theories, models, and frameworks used in nursing health policy dissertations: A scoping review. Applied Nursing Research. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2020.151234

Waddell, A. (2019). Nursing organizations’ health policy content on facebook and twitter preceding the 2016 united states presidential election. Journal of Advanced Nursing75(1), 119–128. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/jan.13826

Reply to Leigh- Needs 2 paragraph and at least 3 references

Main Discussion Post

Many nursing professionals hesitate to get involved in either policy-making or policy evaluation due to the lack of confidence in preparedness or knowledge. In opposition, the Institute of Medicine believes that “nurses were vital to the redesign of healthcare systems, needed to be viewed as partners of physicians and other healthcare providers, and needed to be “at the table” to ensure effective planning, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of healthcare policies” (Milstead, J.A., Short, N.M., (2019). Even though nurses struggle with assurance, many opportunities are offered to become educated in policy evaluation.

Opportunities for policy evaluation in the nursing profession are presented at the state and national levels. Joining state nursing associations presents nurses with the opportunity to gain knowledge of policymaking and evaluation. Through attending conferences, connecting with other members throughout your state, lobbying, speaking to the media on nurses’ behalf, protecting your states’ Nursing Practice Act, and advocating allows nurses to advance their policy evaluation knowledge (Arkansas Registered Nurses Association (ARNA), (2020). Even though there are many benefits, challenges are also exposed. Due to an increased workload of Advanced Practicing Registered Nurses (APRNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs), being apart of either state or national level associations presents challenges that may be overcome with proper time management.  

Another opportunity for the professional nursing community is the ability to reach out the local and federal legislation. “Working with your elected representatives on smaller nursing issues related to your experience builds credibility so they’ll be more likely to turn to you when they’re looking for resources for larger nursing issues (Oestberg, Fredrik MSN, RN. (2013). By sharing personal experiences and evidence-based practice research with members of legislation allows nurses to assist in policy evaluation through checking the value, effectiveness, and impact (Oestberg, Fredrik MSN, RN. (2013). Challenges that may be presented are the inabilities to contact local and federal legislation and the differences of opinion. If unable to contact members of legislation, forming relationships with either your organization policy-makers, members of your organization’s administration, or even your educational coordinator may assist in communication.  

In order for the knowledge and confidence of nursing professionals to grow, they have to be informed of the available opportunities. By the encouragement of the administration, management, and educational coordinators, practicing RN’s and APRN’s would have the opportunity to advocate for their healthcare profession.


Arkansas Registered Nurses Association (ARNA). (2020, January 7). Membership Benefits. https://arna.org/membership/benefits/.

Milstead, J.A., Short, N.M., (2019). Interprofessional Practice. Health Policy and Politics- A Nurse’s Guide. (pp. 117). Jones and Bartlett Learning.

American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d.). Health Policy.

Oestberg, Fredrik MSN, RN. (2013). Getting involved in policy and politics, Nursing Critical Care: (Volume 8. Issue 3. pp 48). doi: 10.1097/01.CCN.0000429392.92546.6f

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