Nursing and Public Health Care Policies


Public health care policies are created to improve the quality of service on every stage of medical treatment. These policies approach every aspect of medical care: cost, access, and quality of the service. The implementation of new policies often falls on nurses that have the first-hand experience in the field. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate one currently active public policy and its impact on nursing practice and propose a new policy as a solution to an existing health care issue.

Public Policy

The American Medical Association has a public policy of professional nurse staffing for hospitals (“Professional Nurse Staffing,” 2017). The purpose of the AMA policy is to maintain quality care using monitoring the complicated with the quality standards, as well as the provision of sufficient education for the nursing staff. Furthermore, this policy promotes cooperative work for medical and administrative staff to achieve the best results in patient safety and care.

  • Driver. The policy of education for nursing staff is designed to address the problem of the quality of health care services.
  • Results. According to the information about this public policy, it is reaffirmed because of its relevancy (“Professional Nurse Staffing,” 2017). Therefore, the policy is being implemented in hospitals due to its success.
  • Effects. This policy positively affects the number of healthcare-related areas. First of all, the quality of health care becomes higher, because the personnel is adequately educated to provide the necessary service to patients. Secondly, it may indirectly influence the cost of care and access to it, as trained nurses will work faster and may tend to more patients.
  • Relevance. This policy directly impacts nursing practice. The AMA policy covers safety and quality norms to which nursing practitioners adhere daily. It also places more responsibility on the nurses, by suggesting that they should collaborate with the administrators focusing on patient safety.

Health Care Issue

Patient falls in hospital settings are one of the significant issues in modern healthcare. In particular, according to DuPree, Fritz-Campiz, and Musbeno (2014), falls present a serious health problem and may result in additional injuries for the patients, extended hospital stays, and the increase in inpatient care costs. Also, about 700 thousand to one million falls happen annually in the US medical facilities; approximately one-third of these falls are preventable (DuPree et al., 2014). Nursing education is one of the main factors contributing to the incidence of falls (DuPree et al., 2014). As a result, a change aimed at the elimination of this flaw in the nursing education could help minimize the prevalence of falls.

The Kingdon model suggests that to promote public policy, one must consider three streams: problem, policy, and politics, and look for a window of opportunity (Milstead, 2016). Using this model, one must first collect the data concerning the lack of nursing education as a cause of patient falls, gather statistical information, and evaluate the magnitude of outcomes.

Secondly, according to the policy stream, nurses and patients should act as the main advocates for this policy, as the problem of falls affects these groups directly. Such organizations as the American Nursing Organization and American Association of Nurse Practitioners can participate in the improvement of this policy. Political streams and windows of opportunity constantly shift. However, the strategy remains unchanged: creating a sound argument and presenting it understandably can influence the final vote (Laureate Education, 2012). Also, the current policies could be employed as the helping basis for the new change that could serve as an adjustment of the existing quality and safety standards.

Conclusion

Nursing policies such as the AMA policy are aimed at the maintenance of the high quality of care and patient safety. Due to the addition of new regulations designed to improve nursing education to eliminate or minimize the incidence of certain health problems, such as patient falls, for example, the existing quality of care driven by the policies could be improved significantly.

References

DuPree, E., Fritz-Campiz, A., & Musbeno, D. (2014). A new approach to preventing falls with injuries. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 29(2), 99–102.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012). Health policy and politics [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Milstead, J. A. (2016). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Professional Nurse Staffing in Hospitals H-360.986. (2017).