The healthcare industry of California is like a large puzzle. Every care provider, legislator, administrator, and support staff member plays their own role in the needs of California patients. If you’ve worked extensively as a registered nurse and used your experience to strengthen your knowledge of the nursing field, you may be excited to change the field in an entirely different way: affecting healthcare policy.
Although healthcare policy affects each state and the country as a whole, it is incredibly important to start with a thorough grasp of the healthcare policy issues in California. Each state has its own problems and issues to address, and studying in the state in which you hope to practice can help you prepare to work in the legislative environment of that area.
For example, California has an above average percentage of residents who speak a language other than English the majority of the time (California Healthline, 2015). This can make it difficult for residents to understand how to properly take and store their medication, which can have disastrous side effects. A recent program that came out of California legislation is Meducation, which aims to make it easier for those who do not speak English to properly take the medication.
If you are ready for the next challenge in your nursing career, find out if you're a good fit for the fast-moving world of healthcare policy by checking out graduate programs in healthcare policy in California.
When you compare healthcare policy to certain other graduate programs, you may find that this program tends to be a bit more time-consuming than other options. This is due to the highly technical nature of healthcare policy. Not only must you know the intricacies of the healthcare field, you must also feel completely comfortable with the legislative aspect of policymaking. The average California program requires you to earn 48 credits. This may take between two and three years.
Your healthcare policy curriculum may be made up of courses like those listed here:
- Epidemiologic Methods
- Health Policy Decision Making
- Microeconomics of Healthcare Policy
- Analytic Methods for Health Policy and Management
- Foundations of Health Policy and Management
- Legal Basis for Health
- Healthcare Finance
Upon graduating, you should feel completely confident analyzing, critiquing, and improving healthcare policy in a variety of ways. Program goals indicate that you should be ready to contribute to research, serve as a leader in nursing, develop complex policies, and account for the ways in which employees and consumers influence policies.
Throughout this time, make sure to keep your nursing license valid through the State of California Board of Registered Nursing. This involves completing 30 hours of continuing education every two years and renewing your license every two years.
Quite a few graduate programs in this area focus on public health nursing. The Board of Registered Nursing allows you to become registered as a public health nurse after you submit proof of your public health training and proof of completion of a child abuse training course.
California is an extremely large state and its healthcare needs vary from region to region. In your career, you may face the challenge of addressing all of these needs and devoting adequate funding to different projects. According to Directors of Public Health Nursing, prominent areas of policymaking in California include the spread of communicable diseases, maternal and child health, community-specific issues, and sexually transmitted illnesses.
You may also work with nursing organizations. The American Nurses Association of California lists some of its main priorities as safe staffing laws, policies that encourage workforce diversity, and laws that strengthen healthcare reform efforts.
This is truly one of the best ways to significantly impact the field of nursing and shape its future. Put your nursing experience to work in an entirely new way and contact healthcare policy graduate programs in California below.