When your facility changes a policy or sends out a bulletin on a new healthcare law, you may wonder who is behind the laws that so heavily impact your nursing work. Maybe you have even thought that you would be a great policymaker with your nursing experience.
That opportunity is one that is catching on across the United States. Nurses have always known the importance and power of lobbying, and with graduate-level nurses who understand health policy, nurses have a louder voice in legislation and policy creation. Graduate programs in health policy build on your nursing knowledge to empower you to work in the policy sector.
Policies shape public opinion and public opinion shapes policy; this is something you may come to understand as a health policy graduate. Overall, Kentucky residents’ faith in the Affordable Care Act is low, but the overall opinion of the Medicare system remains strong (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2015).
Discover the myriad ways in which health policies are influenced, created, and revised by checking out graduate programs in healthcare policy in Kentucky.
A Master's degree in nursing naturally puts you in a position of leadership in the nursing community of Kentucky. With advanced study in policy and law, you can serve as a leader in the field and as a voice for Kentucky nurses.
Navigating health policy requires quite a bit of experience and specialized knowledge, so your Master's degree may involve 33 or more credits of required courses. In courses like those listed below, you may explore many areas of health policy and healthcare that you have not experienced before:
- Health Finance
- Health Economics
- Health Policy
- Legal Aspects of Healthcare Management
- Managerial Epidemiology
- Healthcare Operations Analysis
- Decision Making in Healthcare
Since many Kentucky programs overlap policy, management, and research, you may need to evaluate different graduate health policy programs to find one that is well-suited to your long-term career goals. Comparing curricula and learning outcomes is one way to select a program that focuses on policy and the legislative process.
Look for health policy programs with learning goals like those listed here:
- Analyze health services and their ability to meet population needs
- Utilize research and current evidence to design policies
- Communicate effectively with people at different levels of legislation and healthcare
- Utilize critical thinking skills to address healthcare issues and problems
Staying up-to-date on nursing techniques, issues, and advances is a crucial part of your career. Renew your nursing license through the Kentucky Board of Nursing by the last day of October in every even-numbered year.
Healthcare policy is an extremely diverse and complex field, and the ways that you influence this field may change from year to year. As you expand your nursing career and learn how to navigate the world of healthcare policy, you may work with more experienced legislators and develop your confidence. As you become more established in health policy, you may have the freedom to advocate for causes that are important to you and be a voice for the nursing community as a whole. Many groups impact healthcare legislation in Kentucky, including the Kentucky Health Policy Institute.
Staying on top of policy positions and goals of the nursing industry may help you do more with your legislative work. The Kentucky Nurses Association has worked with policymakers on topics like the Patient Safety Act, the prescription of narcotics by APRNs, and the creation of a school nurse pilot program.
The influence you have over healthcare policy may expand beyond the nursing community of Kentucky to the national healthcare industry in its entirety. You can begin by furthering your education.
Get started now and request information from graduate healthcare policy programs in Kentucky.