The future of healthcare is dependent on the collaboration of professionals with different types of experience and areas of knowledge. With front-line nursing experience, you have insight that can be extremely valuable to legislators and politicians.
If you want to use that experience to improve the state of nursing, studying healthcare policy may be the next step in your career.
Looking at the 2015 legislative session is an excellent way to understand how nurses impact healthcare policy. Nurse advocates and policy experts have worked hard to allow nurse practitioners to use the Baker Act, which allows for the involuntary medical examination of mentally ill patients who cannot provide consent (Tallahassee Democrat, 2015).
Other proposed bills have the long-term goals of reducing suicide rates throughout Florida and improving care by changing nursing standards.
A Master's degree in healthcare policy brings together an understanding of the legal world and advanced nursing abilities. Putting these two fields together allows you to provide trusted, practical, and evidence-based recommendations concerning legislation.
Are you ready to use your voice to make healthcare in Florida better? Find out how you can get started by contacting schools below and learning about admissions requirements.
At the graduate degree level, you may study health policy by earning a Master's in Public Health. This is an extremely rigorous degree, so credit requirements tend to be more demanding than they are in other nursing graduate degree programs.
Florida schools require an average of 42 credits for an MPH. You may address the credit requirements of your school by enrolling in these and other courses:
- Principles of Health Policy and Management
- Social and Behavioral Sciences Applied to Health
- Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health Policy and Politics
- Public Health Law and Ethics
- Health Data, Information, and Decision Making
- Comparative Health Insurance Systems
On top of attending traditional classroom courses, you should anticipate completing numerous practical experience courses. Supervised field experience and internships give you the chance to find out what it's like to work in the policy sector and what skills you need to improve before beginning your career. Field experience is absolutely crucial in this specialty, since working in healthcare policy is an entirely different experience from working in nursing.
A valid registered nursing license is required throughout your education. The Florida Board of Nursing requires you to complete 24 hours of continuing education to renew your license every two years. There are three license renewal groups, so keep an eye out for renewal notices.
You could influence healthcare policy in myriad ways, depending on the agencies you work for, the causes you feel passionately about, and changes in the health industry throughout your career. Currently, mental health is a big part of health legislation in Florida. Legislators are looking at policies that improve access to services, increase funding sources, and create treatment-based courts (News 4 Jax, 2015).
Collaborating with organizations and associations may give you a greater platform for the policies you support. The Florida Healthcare Association is heavily involved in legislation. You may take input from healthcare workers to create and support policies that improve life for healthcare specialists, patients, and other affected groups.
If you feel strongly about healthcare policy and you have a knack for understanding legal language, this is a specialty where you can really use your nursing experience to improve the entire nursing industry.
Take your career to the next level and take a look at our list of programs below to find the right Master's in healthcare policy in Florida for you.