Introduction to Health Policy (Nursing)

by Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

My Notes
  • Required.
Save Cancel
    Learning Material 3
    • PDF
      Slides Introduction to Health Policy Nursing.pdf
    • PDF
      Reference List Public Health Nursing.pdf
    • PDF
      Download Lecture Overview
    Report mistake

    00:02 Now we're going to talk about public health and policy.

    00:05 Before we get started, I want to remind you that policy work does not have to be complicated.

    00:10 Often we get nervous or anxious when people start talking about policy.

    00:14 But the reality is that policy making is truly just finding solutions to issues that important to you and your community.

    00:20 So let's not overcomplicate it.

    00:23 In fact, let me tell you a story, a story about my son.

    00:26 He's eight years old, and in second grade, he came home from school one day with an assignment that he had to advocate for a policy he wanted to see changed in his community.

    00:36 He told me that he was going to write a letter to our local park advisory board, because he thought there should be a law against dogs running around on the baseball fields.

    00:44 So of course, I asked him, "Why is this such a problem?" What I was doing was asking him to define the significance of the problem.

    00:51 He said that because the dogs were running around on the baseball fields, he and his buddies didn't have a place to pay baseball after school.

    00:58 So I asked him what he thought the solution was, and not just creating a law, but really thinking about alternatives, alternatives that we could give dog owners so that their dogs wouldn't have to run around on the baseball fields.

    01:11 What he came up with was writing a letter to our local advisory board, asking them to support a series of bake sales, and garage sales to raise money to expand the already existing dog park.

    01:22 Now, what does this have to do with public health and policy? Well, really, this is an example of policy work.

    01:27 It's advocating for solutions to important issues in your community.

    01:32 So now if my eight year old son can be a policy advocate, I know that you can be one too.

    01:37 Policies impact health and well being of individuals and communities through encouraging healthy behaviors and discouraging harmful behaviors, policies impact health, equity and disparities.

    01:51 Public health nurses need to be aware of how policies impact the health outcomes in the communities that they serve.

    01:57 Now in this presentation, I'm going to explain some very basic definitions that relate to policy making.

    02:04 Although the term policy may sound lofty, policy is quite simply the process of turning problems into a workable solution.

    02:13 The policy process is very similar to the nursing process.

    02:16 But rather than focus on an individual or a community, the focus of policy work is on society as a whole.

    02:23 So let's take a look.

    02:24 Here you see the policy process overlaid with the nursing process.

    02:28 The policy process includes the following steps.

    02:32 First, we have the statement of the problem, then the development of policy options or solutions to address the problem, then adoption of the policy option, implementation of the policy option.

    02:44 And then finally, evaluation of the policies intended and unintended consequences.

    02:50 So once again, as you can see, this is very similar to the nursing process, you already know how to do this.

    02:57 Historically, nurses have been advocates for protecting the health of the public through policy.

    03:02 So this is not new for nurses.

    03:05 In fact, Florence Nightingale is known for her early advocacy efforts.

    03:09 She used data and her expertise as a nurse to advocate to change organizational policies.

    03:15 Specifically, she wanted to ensure that all patients, regardless of religious beliefs, had access to care at the hospital where she was a superintendent, so she advocated on their behalf through policy work to make sure this happened.

    03:30 Another great example of early policy work for nurses is that of Lillian Wald.

    03:35 She was a nurse advocate that used her position to improve population health outcomes through national policies, specifically policies related to women's reproductive health rights.

    03:45 She supported and advocated for women's right to contraception, and she was an active participant in the women's suffrage movement.

    03:52 These two pioneers led the way for and demonstrated the importance of a nursing voice in the policy arena.

    03:58 So let's continue on with some of those basic definitions.

    04:02 Again, a policy is simply a decision that is meant to address a problem.

    04:07 A policy is a course of action that we take to reach that desired outcome in society or within an organization.

    04:16 Health Policy is a specific policy, or course of action meant to address a health outcome.

    04:22 In order to fully understand health policy, nurses must also be aware of the policy making process, which is where the next few definitions come into play.

    04:33 Politics.

    04:34 Politics are all the activities of those who aim to influence the way in which a country or an organization is governed.

    04:41 Politics are found at all levels of government and can also be found at that organizational level.

    04:47 Politics often involve gaining or keeping power in order to influence policy, or simply put, influence the way in which we want to see problems addressed.

    04:59 Advocacy.

    05:00 This is any action that supports or defends a cause on behalf of yourself or others.

    05:06 Now I'm sure that you've advocated on behalf of yourself and probably on behalf of a patient.

    05:11 In relationship to policy, advocacy, or efforts that defend the need for the adoption of a specific policy.

    05:21 Laws are an established system of rules that all members of society are asked to follow.

    05:26 Through political action, a policy can become a law.

    05:31 I want you to remember that as a public health nurse, you can make a difference.

    05:35 Understanding these basic definitions sets a strong foundation for being a player in the policy arena, and advocating for policies that can positively influence the communities that you serve as a public health nurse.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Introduction to Health Policy (Nursing) by Heide Cygan, DNP, RN is from the course Public Health and Policy (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Politics
    2. Advocacy
    3. Policy
    4. Law
    1. Nurses can advocate for the development of policies that promote positive health.
    2. Nurses are limited in their role regarding policy development but can protest against unhelpful policies.
    3. Nurses are discouraged from participating in health development policy
    4. Only nurses with concurrent political science education can engage in health policy development.

    Author of lecture Introduction to Health Policy (Nursing)

     Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

    Heide Cygan, DNP, RN

    Customer reviews

    5,0 of 5 stars
    5 Stars
    4 Stars
    3 Stars
    2 Stars
    1  Star