Healthcare Insider Blog

The importance of Doctors of Nursing Practice in the health care policy arena

  • Healthcare Alvernia

The health care system has been in a state of rapid transformation since the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Doctors of nursing practice are at the forefront of knowledge and expertise in the field of nursing, and are therefore in the perfect position to create positive change in the future of health care.

“Health care policy — whether it is created through governmental actions, institutional decision making, or organizational standards — creates a framework that can facilitate or impede the delivery of health care services or the ability of the provider to engage in practice to address health care needs,” explains the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in its article, The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

“Political activism and a commitment to policy development are central elements of professional nursing practice, and the DNP graduate has the ability to assume a broad leadership role on behalf of the public as well as the nursing profession.”

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (PCNP) hosted its annual Lobby day, where nurse practitioners from all around the state gathered at the Capitol building in Harrisburg in their white coats to advocate for full practice authority to elected officials. Discussion points for the day included everything from full practice authority to caring for rural Pennsylvania and providing care to those with the greatest need and more.

From lobbying at the state and even national level, to getting involved in policy reform in your own hospital or medical facility, DNPs can play a major role in deciding the future of health care.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) shares more on the importance of nurse practitioners participating in and even leading health care reform implementation efforts on institutional levels as well. They suggest actively serving on advisory boards on which policy decisions are made towards advancing health care systems and the betterment of patient care.

Alvernia University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice students will take courses like NUR 702: Ethics, Policy, and Advocacy in the Health Care System, that will allow them to envision themselves as a leader in the health care policy arena. DNP students will receive an overview of issues in health care policy and planning at the local, state, federal and global levels and will explore and evaluate both existing and proposed health policies.

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