As you plan, develop, implement and evaluate your nursing practicum project, reflect on how this project and your graduate education have prepared you to meet the growing needs of healthcare and the diverse populations we serve.
This week you will address Essential VI: Health Policy and Advocacy.
400 words ; 2 cites
Essential VI: Health Policy and Advocacy
The healthcare environment is ever-evolving and influenced by technological, economic,
political, and sociocultural factors locally and globally. Graduates of master’s degree
nursing programs have requisite knowledge and skills to promote health, help shape the
health delivery system, and advance values like social justice through policy processes
and advocacy. Nursing’s call to political activism and policy advocacy emerges from
many different viewpoints. As more evidence links the broad psychosocial, economic,
and cultural factors to health status, nurses are compelled to incorporate these factors into
their approach to care. Most often, policy processes and system-level strategies yield the
strongest influence on these broad determinants of health. Being accountable for
improving the quality of healthcare delivery, nurses must understand the legal and
political determinants of the system and have the requisite skills to partner for an
improved system. Nurses’ involvement in policy debates brings our professional values
to bear on the process (Warner, 2003). Master’s-prepared nurses will use their political
efficacy and competence to improve the health outcomes of populations and improve the
quality of the healthcare delivery system.
Policy shapes healthcare systems, influences social determinants of health, and therefore
determines accessibility, accountability, and affordability of health care. Health policy
creates conditions that promote or impede equity in access to care and health outcomes.
Implementing strategies that address health disparities serves as a prelude to influencing
policy formation. In order to influence policy, the master’s-prepared nurse needs to work
within and affect change in systems. To effectively collaborate with stakeholders, the
master’s-prepared nurse must understand the fiscal context in which they are practicing
and make the linkages among policy, financing, and access to quality health care. The
graduate must understand the principles of healthcare economics, finance, payment
methods, and the relationships between policy and health economics.
Advocacy for patients, the profession, and health-promoting policies is operationalized in
divergent ways. Attributes of advocacy include safeguarding autonomy, promoting social
justice, using ethical principles, and empowering self and others (Grace, 2001; Hanks,
2007; Xiaoyan & Jezewski, 2006). Giving voice and persuasion to needs and preferred
direction at the individual, institution, state, or federal policy level is integral for the
The master’s-degree program prepares the graduate to:
1. Analyze how policies influence the structure and financing of health care,
practice, and health outcomes.
2. Participate in the development and implementation of institutional, local, and state
and federal policy.
3. Examine the effect of legal and regulatory processes on nursing practice,
healthcare delivery, and outcomes.
4. Interpret research, bringing the nursing perspective, for policy makers and
5. Advocate for policies that improve the health of the public and the profession of
• Policy process: development, implementation, and evaluation
• Structure of healthcare delivery systems
• Theories and models of policy making
• Policy making environments: values, economies, politics, social
• Policy-making process at various levels of government
• Ethical and value-based frameworks guiding policy making
• General principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, accounting, and
• Globalization and global health
• Interaction between regulatory processes and quality control
• Health disparities
• Social justice
• Political activism
• Economics of health care