The purpose of learning the ropes of policy, politics and advocacy is to influence health care or broader social agendas that influence human health. Discuss a time where you influence health care through advocacy.
From American presidents to chief executive officers, every politically engaged person has acquired the political and policy expertise that propelled them into positions of authority and accountability. The same is true for nurses. The only way to put what one has learned into effect is via experience and practice, even though one can learn about the policy process and political analysis through formal schooling. Finding mentors—colleagues and friends with political savvy—to teach us, believe in and support us, celebrate our success and learn from our shortcomings is one of the most crucial factors in getting active.
This chapter looks at ways to get involved through education, training, and experience. Both nurses with expertise and students who are new to politics have several opportunities to learn more and become involved. No matter what experience we have, the activity itself helps us develop our talents. If we wish to become involved in health care, there are countless causes and problems that might pique our attention. All that is left to do is choose how much time and effort to put into it.
The characteristics and abilities that nurses possess are essential for success in the worlds of policy and politics. Working in the field of policy will provide nurses with opportunities to play significant roles and lead organizations. There are several tales regarding nurses who have carried out this in this book. These tales could inspirational and motivate others to become active in policy and politics.
What is the first step? Many people discover that there is a turning point when the conventional responses to problems of injustice, inequity, or helplessness cease to be effective. It occurs when someone understands that a situation or issue is brought on by systemic flaws. For instance, lower reimbursement rates may be caused by a shortage of support workers on an acute care unit rather than a callous hospital management. Denial of care to a patient who qualifies for Medicaid or Medicare may have more to do with government budget reductions than with the patient’s actual need for care. Being aware that an issue can result from a failed policy is an essential first step in contributing to the policy solution.