In the world of healthcare, there are dozens of roles and careers that contribute to the strength of this industry as a whole. While working as a nurse, you have done more than your part to treat patients, keep them safe, and provide them with the care that you would want for yourself.
If you’ve been looking for a way to advance your career and secure the future of the healthcare field, you may want to earn a Master’s degree in healthcare policy.
In Massachusetts, there is a long history of nurses influencing and improving health policy. In 2015, legislators proposed a law that would permit doctors in emergency rooms to involuntarily hospitalize addicts for 72 hours (Mass Live, 2015). The Massachusetts Nurses Association spoke out against this law, claiming that it would overburden emergency departments and reduce resources for those who are in need of emergency care.
Interested in getting started in law and policy? Start by checking out our list of graduate programs in healthcare policy in Massachusetts.
When you start looking into high-level nursing careers, you'll generally find that a Master's degree is required to get your foot in the door. This is particularly true with healthcare policy. Legislation is a highly regulated field, and you have to know a lot about the legal aspects of healthcare and the political culture of the United States to really make progress in policy change.
Over the course of two or three years, you can plan on earning approximately 33 to 36 credits in graduate courses. Some of the courses you may find in your curriculum include Law and Health Policy of Drugs and Devices, FDA and Regulatory Affairs, Health Epidemiology, Data Analysis and Presentation, Laws and Regulations in Health Care, and Statistics in Clinical Research.
Many programs allow space for elective courses. If you are particularly interested in one area of health policy, this is your chance to tailor your education for your career goals.
You may also prepare for your career by gaining practical experience. Some schools do not require an internship or practicum course, but you should still make it a priority in your education. The value of networking is worth the effort, not to mention the hands-on experience you'll get in a new industry.
Throughout your education and career, don't forget to keep your nursing license valid. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing requires you to renew your nursing license by your birthday in even-numbered years.
Nurses may contribute to healthcare policy in specific ways, but try not to limit yourself in your career goals and aspirations. If you are willing to put in long working hours and really fight for the causes you are passionate about, you can break through all sorts of limits in health policy.
By aligning yourself with other nurses, you can lend more credibility to your policy stances. In recent months, the Massachusetts Nurses Association has been directly involved with bills regarding dual diagnoses and mental health issues, the creation of workplace violence programs, and safe patient handling.
In your health policy work, you may work with several different government agencies. One of the most important in this sector is the Health Policy Commission. This group focuses specifically on the analysis of healthcare spending and market changes.
If you are starting to see all the possibilities that exist in the world of healthcare policy, this is the time to start exploring your options. Learn more by requesting information from Massachusetts graduate healthcare policy programs below.