The days spent in a clinic or hospital can be heartbreaking and full of joy for a nurse. Welcoming new life into the world and watching people die of preventable causes are just two of the emotional experiences that nurses like you are witness to every day.
Not every health tragedy can be prevented, but as a nurse, you are in a great position to use your experience to improve public health in Kansas. In the last 12 years, youth drug overdose rates and overdose-related deaths have quadrupled in this state (Wichita Eagle, 2015). This is the second-largest increase in the entire country.
The insight you have from the nursing field can help you develop policies to improve education, care, and outcomes in Kansas.
Uncover the opportunities in health policy in Kansas and discover how you can make a difference to people in your community. The first step is requesting information from healthcare policy graduate programs in Kansas below.
There are quite a few significant differences between working as a registered nurse and working as a nurse who specializes in healthcare policy. Of course, your clinical skills and knowledge are an advantage to you in a legislative role, but you must learn how to navigate the legislative system before you can actually contribute to health policy.
Master's programs in health policy often require more than 33 credits of graduate studies in courses like:
- Research for Healthcare Leaders
- Healthcare Management
- Healthcare Policy and Research
- Health and Social Behavior
- Designing Healthcare Organizations
- Healthcare Economics
Throughout your training, you may complete various fieldwork experiences, go through an internship, participate in research, and complete other experiences that enrich your education.
Through practical learning and classroom learning, you can work toward the following learning outcomes and competencies below:
- Understand role of various healthcare professions and certifications
- Utilize appropriate standards and regulations in your decisions
- Develop and revise policies in line with population needs
- Advocate for residents and staff members
Staying active in your nursing role is extremely important, as the experience you get every day is what allows you to provide practical and realistic input to the legislative process. With that in mind, make sure you renew your license every other year by the last day of your birth month through the Kansas State Board of Nursing.
There are many avenues that nurses use to influence healthcare policy in Kansas. By the time you complete your Master's degree in healthcare policy, you should be experienced about the different routes you can use to create effective healthcare policies. In many cases, change starts at a facility-wide level. When you work for a clinic or hospital, the policies you establish may become part of healthcare legislation throughout the state if they lead to improved patient outcomes.
You may also contribute to healthcare legislation by working for groups like the Kansas Health Institute. In these positions, you may have access to the most recent research and evidence when forming your policies and proposals.
To understand how important nurses are in legislation, simply look at some of the victories enjoyed by the Kansas State Nurses Association. Legislative efforts in 2015 focused on medications used for mental illness, newborn screenings for congenital heart disease, the use of CNMs, and the scope of practice for APRNs.
The future of the nursing industry is decided by many factors, and healthcare policy is one of the main components. Improve the future of healthcare in Kansas and contact graduate healthcare policy programs in Kansas below.