It doesn’t matter if you’re a registered nurse at a clinic, hospital, nursing home, or other care setting—the work you do and the clinical decisions you are allowed to make are heavily influenced by laws and policies. At times, these policies may seem unfair, impractical, or unrealistic for those who work in the medical industry.
If you’ve ever wanted to change that, a career in healthcare policy may be within your reach. With a background in nursing and graduate-level education in health policy, you can use your education to develop and support policies that are truly beneficial to the medical industry of Idaho.
With training from an Idaho graduate nursing school, you can get the knowledge needed to combat Idaho-specific problems. Opioid addiction has become an increasingly severe problem in Idaho, particularly among teenagers (Miami Herald, 2015). Policymakers with a background in nursing may implement policies that get to the root causes of this problem.
One of the advantages of becoming a nurse is the flexibility of your long-term career options. Explore a growing area of nursing by checking out options at health policy graduate programs in Idaho.
Unless you have spent an extensive amount of time learning about health policy and the legislative process in Idaho, you may be surprised by how much you have to learn to have any pull in legislative circles. Since this is such a rigorous area of study, plan on completing over 40 credits to earn your Master's degree in health policy.
As you work toward graduation from a healthcare policy program, the following courses may be part of your curriculum:
- Leadership and Administration
- Social and Cultural Perspectives in Public Health
- Health Program Planning
- US and Global Health Systems
- Technology Use in Healthcare
No matter which school you choose, you can feel confident that your instructors and advisors want you to succeed. Programs often develop their curricula and experience requirements by pursuing the following goals:
- Evidence-based program instruction
- Promote leadership in public health positions
- Contribute to public health efforts in various ways
- Understand importance of ongoing education and training
Throughout and after your graduate education, your nursing degree is a big part of what gives credibility to your opinions. Keep it valid by renewing your license through the Idaho Board of Nursing by August 31 every other year.
As you work in different settings while earning your degree, you should develop a complete picture of long-term healthcare goals in Idaho, the needs of Idaho patients, and what care providers need to meet those expectations. This may give you a strong foundation on which to start your career in health policy.
Nurses who specialize in healthcare policy may work in many different health environments. In a clinic or hospital, you may be responsible for developing policies and procedures that utilize evidence-based standards and fall in line with state laws. As you move on to state and federal policy work, you may get involved with groups like the Idaho National Academy for State Health Policy.
Developing strong working relationships with a variety of nursing associations is an excellent way to advocate for nurses in your work. Furthermore, many nursing groups maintain strong positions on current legislature. The Nurse Leaders of Idaho recently focused on minimizing uncompensated care costs, establishing a statewide system of care management and private market solutions, and promoting the importance of preventative care to Idaho residents.
By building connections in nursing and healthcare policy, staying active in the nursing community, and understanding the legislative process, you can make the most of your healthcare policy career.
Take the first step now and reach out to Master's in healthcare policy programs in Idaho.