What parts of the lawmaking process does a nurse have an opportunity to influence the final bill passage?
For this week’s project, you’ll answer three questions related to your opportunity as a nurse and an advocate. The first two questions relate to influencing a bill is traveling through the legislative process. The third question refers you to the social determinants of health as described in your course textbook reading and asks you to think specifically on your role as a nurse in influencing social determinants of health.
In a brief paper (no more than 2 typed pages, 1 inch margins, 12 font Times New Roman or Courier New), answer the questions below. Write each question as a new topic area and then follow with a paragraph or two to answer the question. You may find it necessary to search for answers to the questions outside of the assigned reading. Be sure to use APA guidelines for writing style, spelling and grammar, and citation of sources.
Answer the following questions:
- What parts of the lawmaking process does a nurse have an opportunity to influence the final bill passage?
- List at least two ways that this influence can take place. In your opinion, would one way be preferable over the other?
- Reviewing the social determinants of health, select one to respond to this question:
- What role can nurses play in promoting health status through policy changes directly affecting this social determinant?
EXPERT ANSWER AND EXPLANATION:
Nurse’s Role in Influencing the Legislative Process
With the current state of healthcare, nurses are called to the fore to be more active in policy formulation. This is especially true given that nurses’ role continues to expand with more being required from them. However, their level of participation is still not as it ought to be, with more still needed to be done to have their voices and input heard. Nurses can play a vital role in shaping the legislative agenda. This paper will, therefore, look at the various ways in which nurses can participate in the legislative process.
Nurses Role in the Lawmaking Process
The legislative process comprises of seven major parts, out of which, the nurses can influence more than half of the process. The first step in the lawmaking process involves the formulation of a bill (Jenkins, 2016). The best way for nurses to do so is through their recognized professional organization. During this stage, the nurses can propose to the House or the Senate a healthcare policy, after which the lawmakers can consider it and table it before the floor of the house for debate.
The second step involves committee action, whereby, committee members usually evaluate the bill withy the input form experts being considered. At this stage, nurses can air their views about the bill and make amendments in areas where improvement can be made. They can also advise the committee to do away with the bill, in case it is retrogressive to the nursing practice or healthcare as a whole (Ray et al., 2015). Floor action and voting for the bill are the third and fourth steps respectively. In these two stages, nurses can lobby the political representatives to either vote for or against the bill. The last stage where nurses can influence the bill making process is by advising the president to approve or not to approve the bill passed by both houses after analyzing the merits and demerits of the bill.
Two ways Nurses can Influence the Lawmaking Process
The two ways in which nurses can influence the lawmaking process is either through proposing to either house a healthcare policy for consideration. The other method is through lobbying the relevant persons to either support or oppose the passage of a bill. Both methods, from my perspective, are equally important. However, lobbying tends to be vital in the whole legislative process (Kostas‐Polston et al., 2015). The legislature has to be convinced that the legislation will be useful in advancing healthcare. The legislature also has to be convinced that other interests, such as the economy, will not be drastically affected without having and equal level of returns (Baumgartner et al., 2014). Therefore, advocacy is essential in influencing the process.
Role of Nurses in Promoting Health Status through Policy Changes
One of the social determinants of health is environmental health. The environment where one lives has an impact on their health status. Nurses, through advocacy, can reach out to local, state, and national legislators to put in place pro-environmental legislation. They can also reinforce existing laws by proposing to the legislature the necessary changes needed (Kostas‐Polston et al., 2015), and lobbying for lawful action from the citizens to at against persons who do not adhere to the required environmental standards.
This paper has described the various ways in which nurses can influence the lawmaking process. The paper has also described how nurses can improve environmental health through policy change. It is apparent that with more participation of nurses in policy making, then an improvement in the health status of the population is expected.
Baumgartner, F. R., Berry, J. M., Hojnacki, M., Kimball, D. C., & Leech, B. L. (2014). Money, priorities, and stalemate: How lobbying affects public policy. Election Law Journal, 13(1), 194-209.
Jenkins, S. (2016). The context of legislating: Constraints on the legislative process in the United States. Routledge.
Kostas‐Polston, E. A., Thanavaro, J., Arvidson, C., Taub, L. F. M., & FAANP Health Policy Work Group. (2015). Advanced practice nursing: Shaping health through policy. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 27(1), 11-20.
Ray, M. M., Roberts, S., Foley, M., Dodd, C., Whelan, E. M., & Woody, M. P. (2015). Lobbying policymakers: Individual and collective strategies. Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care-E-Book, 390.
Other Answered Questions:
[ANSWERED] Create your own script for building a health history and use the Health History Template for guidance (consider the type of language you would use to help your patient be more comfortable).