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Nurse Leaders and Political Awareness, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 417

Essay

Becoming scholarly helps the nurse to develop a broad and reflective approach. It is linked to intellectual ability, persistency, independence, integrity and self-discipline (Hinshaw, & Grady, 2010, p. 78). Essential to the leadership role is developing a greater appreciation of how nurse leaders affect the change in policy by becoming influential as a result of their competence, communication, and collaborative skills, as well as through their advocacy skills (Gantz, 2009, p. 396). Out of this comes the need to put forward proposals for improving patients’ nursing care and advocate for them in the political arena.

The moral obligation of the nurse to serve as the patient advocate is inextricably woven into the fabric of the nursing profession (Maggs, 1987, p. 4). Transforming that obligation from the locus of the bedside to include the broader arena of healthcare reform, including legislative and policy development activities that address how resources are accessed and allocated, require that nurses re-engage with their roots in social justice (Gantz, 2009, p. 396). Participation in professional organizations to move an agenda for the development of competency based standards for credentialing and scope of practice can be effective in ensuring quality and safety. With respect to political action, nurse leaders can lobby for legislation that revises restrictive nurse practice acts that limit professional scope of practice, particularly in the areas of prescriptive authority, reimbursement for services, and mandated physician oversight (p. 396).

As Hinshaw and Grady (2010, p. 79) suggests that the nurse leader can develop political awareness by using computer technology to gain access to information. This is especially helpful for leaders in remote or isolated areas. Staying abreast of changes in policy and regulation through the myriad of available websites is one way of keeping up to date (p. 80).

Taking part in professional organizations and encouraging local interest are ways of developing political understanding (McGee, 2003, p. 23). By doing so, nurse leaders can clearly gain a perspective as they address the challenges ahead by assessing the imperfect past for a lesson for the future.

In concluding, political awareness is essentials in nursing profession’s efforts to influence public opinion and public policy as the profession seeks to better serve its student and its public.

References

Gantz, Nancy Rollins. (2009). 101 Global Leadership Lessons for Nurses: Shared Legacies from Leaders and Their Mentors. Sigma Theta Tau.

Hinshaw, Ada Sue., & Grady, Patricia A. (2010). Shaping Health Policy Through Nursing Research. Springer Publishing Company.

Maggs, Christopher J. (1987). Nursing History: The State of the Art. Routledge.

McGee, Paula. (2003). Advanced Nursing Practice. Wiley-Blackwell.

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