Health care reform is at the forefront of social policy, and the role of nursing in influencing health care policy is not only needed but required by the ANA ethical mandates on policy formation.
For this discussion, select and respond to one of the two situations below on health care policy and the role of the nursing profession. Provide short answers to the questions that follow the chosen situation.
Situation 1: In its health care reform position paper, the American Nurses Association (ANA) identified four key factors that need to be addressed when reforming the health care system in the U.S.:
- Select one of these key factors and discuss, within the complex adaptive systems theoretical framework, how it might be achieved:
- Workforce .
- Identify nursing roles (both individual and professional organizations) within the four spheres of political action (workplace, government, professional organizations, and community) in which nursing is, or could be, active to help achieve the selected health care reform goal.
- Discuss how the political roles you identified align with or are counter to the ANA’s mandates for policy involvement.
Situation 2: Select a current nursing or health care issue, perhaps the one you are working on for your Health Care and Nursing Policy Critique Project.
- Analyze the policy that most directs and regulates nursing care and health care in this area, using the ethics of care model.
- Consider the following questions, but only provide short answers, as you don’t need to reply at length:
- How attentive is the policy to the needs of health care consumers? Is health care accessible, affordable, and appropriate?
- Who is responsible for ensuring that care is delivered to those in need? In what ways do they meet this responsibility? In what ways do they fall short?
- How well does the policy reflect nursing values of caring, collaboration, collectivity, and high-touch care?
- What are the power relations between those in need of care and those providing care (both the institutions and its individual members)? How empowering is the policy for patients for nursing care providers and for institutions in the health care system?
- To what extent does the policy support the provision of comprehensive care? To what extent does it fragment care?
- What challenges to care or gaps in care does this policy present?
- What ethical issues does this policy raise in the delivery of care, and in maintenance or creation of health disparities?
Building on your work in this unit’s Health Care Reform discussion, create a plan of action for advocating a particular policy response to a selected nursing and health care concern. In your plan of action, be sure to consider:
- Political context of the issue.
- Stakeholders (support and opposition).
- Policy options.
- Value assessment of the advocated policy response.
- Policy goals.
- Selection of a specific strategic approach to policy change.
- Strategic use of the media in your advocacy effort or campaign.
- Action steps.
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