The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation

The development of preventive health care is one of the opportunities for RN/APRN to actively participate in policy evaluation. According to Lathrop and Hodnicki (2014), nurses play an instrumental role in the development of preventive care. Therefore, policies designed to promote this type of care place nurses at the center of the policy process. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an example of recent policies that have engaged the active and essential role of the RN/APRN in policy evaluation. Another opportunity is the need to address challenges affecting the modern healthcare system and the need for change (Arabi, Rafii, Cheraghi, & Ghiyasvandian, 2014). For example, the increase in the prevalence of obesity in the country. Nurses engage in policies due to the need to protect patients, increase quality, and enhance access to care.

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Regardless of the opportunities, they bring considerable challenges to the role of nurses in the policy evaluation process. One of the difficulties inherent in preventive care is the lack of adequate resources and time to engage in policy campaigns. Besides inadequate resources, absence of clarity is evident, regarding the role of RN/APRN in policy evaluation, and creating change in the healthcare sector (Arabi, Rafii, Cheraghi, & Ghiyasvandian, 2014). Nurses are not always engaged in the policy evaluation process. The problems can be addressed by the government providing resources for nurses to be active participants in the policy process. One of the strategies may include educating nurses on the way they can inform policy evaluation. Capacity building is also necessary to support the role of nurses as advocates in health policies (Catallo, Spalding, & Haghiri-Vijeh, 2014). Overall, significant changes are required to promote the role of RN/APRN in policy evaluation.

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