You may have become a registered nurse for any number of reasons. The growing need for nurses in Montana, the desire to change lives with your career, and the strength of the nursing industry are all factors that may have led to your career decision.
If you have gained nursing experience and you are confident in your ability to provide great care, you may be prepared for the next step in your career.
Healthcare policy is an essential part of nursing in Montana. Healthcare is one of the biggest parts of Montana’s economy, particularly in the Billings area (Independent Record, 2015). Strong policies allow the industry to keep growing by allowing for continued development, improved educational standards, high care standards, and nursing research.
If you think you could improve the care provided to Montana residents and improve working conditions for Montana nurses, find out more about your options by requesting information from graduate healthcare policy programs in Montana.
To thrive in the legislative climate of Montana, you need a specialized knowledge of the legislative process. Furthermore, you must understand the issues and problems that most commonly affect Montana. In a graduate healthcare policy program, you can explore the policymaking process, the roadblocks you may encounter in advocating for healthcare, and how you can best use your resources to succeed in this field.
Schools in Montana often focus on students gaining knowledge about the factors that influence health policy decisions, understanding qualitative and quantitative analysis, creating collaborative strategies to solve issues, and promoting health through policy creation.
These goals and more may be addressed in these common health policy courses:
- History and Theory of Epidemiology
- Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
- Native American Public Health
- Rural Health Issues
- Public Health Administration
- Health Policy
In total, your curriculum should include about 42 credits. Schools have varying requirements, but they typically require some combination of a professional paper, a portfolio, and a practicum course. Try to get as much research and work experience as you can, since this experience can help you build a professional network and start learning the lay of the land.
Remember that most of your credibility may come from your nursing career, so you should keep up your nursing credentials. That means renewing your nursing license through the Montana Board of Nursing by the end of every even-numbered year. During each two-year period, you must earn 24 continuing education credits.
Studying the lobbying efforts of different nursing groups and healthcare associations can show you how they leverage their experience and licensure to influence change. Consider, for example, the Montana Nursing Action Coalition. They have created a lobbying group that has many long-term goals in nursing policy.
Current goals include improving the transition between different levels of nursing education, developing laws to make healthcare more accessible, increasing the amount of nurse leaders in Montana, and collaborating with the Montana Healthcare Workforce Advisory Committee.
Several government agencies are also part of the healthcare policy process. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is dedicated to providing low-cost healthcare services, analyzing statistics to minimize costs and improve outcomes, and basing policy on data.
Healthcare policy is a very flexible career that can change based on your interests and goals. You may work for private institutions, county-based government agencies, state government agencies, or even federal agencies.
Get started on your new career path by contacting Master’s in healthcare policy programs in Montana.