Policy and Politics for Nurses

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Policyand Politics for Nurses

Politicsin the healthcare industry

Thecurrent health care policies have evolved over a long time. One ofthe principal initiators of evolution in the medical history isMargaret Sanger. She was a palliative nurse based in New York.However, she preferred to specialize in women reproductive healthafter she witnessed a woman dying from the injuries she sustainedfrom illegal abortion injuries. One of the milestones Sanger hasachieved is autonomy of women’s reproductive. She advocated forwomen to choose when they would prefer to bear children as well asthe preferred opportunities when they would like to carry a pregnancyto term. Consequently, her protests and propositions formed a basethat the United States government and the healthcare policymakersused to legalize abortions and distribution of contraceptives.Secondly, Sanger and other activists advocated for the right of womento have equal rights with men (Nickitas, Middaugh, &amp Aries,2014).

Methodsof effecting changes

Sangerand her colleagues used various strategies to effect the changes inthe healthcare field. One of these strategies included arranging forpickets. In addition, the activists organized both pageants anddemonstrations with the intention of achieving wholesome social andeconomic justice (Westrick, 2014). Finally, the participants alsochallenged the existing laws and policies. For example, Sangerappealed her conviction against providing immigrant and poor womenwith contraceptives. The case led to the enactment of the NewYork’s Comstock Lawthat allowed medical doctors to prescribe contraceptives to women(Nickitas et al., 2014).

Howpolicy change moves from internal adoption to legislation

Policychanges move from an internal adoption to legislation when nursesstart protesting and advocating for its change. Firstly, the nursesand other medical care experts investigate the necessity of a givenlaw in the health care industry. Abood (2007) asserts that thenurses then take on the less familiar responsibility of politics withthe aim of gaining the attention of lawmakers. Effective advocacy ofpolicies requires dedication of time, energy, the will and power aswell as political knowhow. The nurses need to understand the benefitsas well as the power bases the current law give them to justifyimplementation of the recommended regulation. Lastly, they also needto collect resources that can effectively aid readers to understandthe goals and possible methods of influencing the law in the future(Nickitas et al., 2014).

Expertiseand internal and external advocacy

Theexpertise advocacy is a lobbying method that intends to achievechange through the provision of evidence-based justification toimplement specific policies. Similarly, the medical care experts canalso propose changes in current health care laws in case they are noteffective. Individuals planning to venture into advocacy needs somepreparation such as understand strong reasons to justifyimplementation of the new policy (Westrick, 2014).

Theinternal support involves understanding a healthcare problem facing agiven group of people. For example, Margaret Sanger identifiedreproductive health care policies as a major problem that requiredbeing addressed adequately. As a result, she began advocating forwomen to use contraceptives to control their birth rates. She alsorecommended that women should be allowed to abort whenever theydeemed it unnecessary because they had the right to their body. Sheconvinced the other nurses and healthcare professionals to supporther agenda hence, she achieved internal support. The internalsupport may also involve political experts who may guide them on thebest approaches to the presentation of the issue to the lawmakers.

Finally,external advocacy involves the application of direct action such asthe presentation of the issue to a court of law to recommend thegovernment to execute the changes. Similarly, it may involveorganizing protests, pickets and educating the public on thesignificance of the recommended bills in the healthcare system. Insome cases, the nurses may propose new laws and in other instances,they may veto the regulations recognized by the existing law.

Exampleof a policy change you would advocate for

Oneof the policy changes I would advocate being applied in the healthcare system is the abolition of tobacco smoking. Tobacco causesmillions of deaths in the world, both directly and indirectly, yetthe drug has no proven benefits to the health. Besides, smokingaffects both active and passive smokers. According to the US Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention, 480,000 people die every yearfrom cigarette-based complications. Out of these deaths, 41,000deaths are passive smokers. To add insult to the injury, thegovernment loses $ 170 billion for both direct medical care and lostproductivity among adults and $156 billion medical expenses amongchildren respectively (Cigarette smoking in the United States, n.d).


Abood,S., (2007). Influencing health care in the legislative arena. OJIN:The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing,12(1). DOI:10.3912/OJIN.Vol12No01Man02

Cigarettesmoking in the United States, (n.d). Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention.Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/data/cigarette-smoking-in-united-states.html

Nickitas,D. M., Middaugh, D. J., &amp Aries, N. (2014). Policyand politics for nurses and other health professions: Advocacy andaction(2nded).Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Westrick,S. J. (2014). Essentialsof nursing law and ethics.Burlington, MAs : Jones &amp Bartlett Learning,

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