Healthcare policy is quite possibly one of the most complicated aspects of healthcare. Not only does it drive change at a federal level, it impacts how state agencies run and even the work of individual organizations. Given that, it is easy to see how policies that don't reflect the realities of the health industry can have disastrous effects.
That is why it is so important for nurses like you to get involved in healthcare policy in Nevada. Once you complete a Master's degree in this specialty, you can begin tackling the specific problems that healthcare providers and patients face in your community.
Although Nevada has struggled with its healthcare rankings, it is on the road to improvement. In 2015, Nevada moved up one ranking in terms of overall health (RGJ, 2015). Some of its most remarkable improvements are in the areas of infant mortality, preventable hospitalizations, obesity rates, and smoking rates.
If you are ready to put your nursing experience to work in a new specialty, why not explore policy and administration? Keep reading to find out more about Master's in healthcare policy programs in Nevada.
To start changing healthcare policy from the inside, you should study policy at the graduate level. Throughout Nevada, the majority of healthcare policy programs require the completion of 40 credits.
By meeting these rigorous requirements, you can thoroughly cover the healthcare system of the United States, legislative processes, and the policy creation process. You may find the following courses in your curriculum:
- US Healthcare System
- Epidemiology in Health Services Management
- Healthcare Economics
- Advanced Healthcare Finance
- Operations and Management of Health Services
- Health Services Research Methods
- Healthcare Law and Ethics
These courses are chosen for very specific reasons. As you compare schools, check out the learning goals they have set for healthcare policy students. These goals structure your education and assess your progress throughout your course of study.
Nevada schools expect students to understand population trends, describe different influences on the American healthcare system, use economics in health policy discussions, and effectively contribute to the health policy process.
Upon meeting the course requirements of your school, you may be expected to pull everything together in a capstone course, thesis, or professional paper. This work may impact your career options after graduation, so you want to show how you can contribute to healthcare through your work.
To work in any nursing capacity, you must maintain your nursing license. The Nevada Board of Nursing requires renewal of your license by every other birthday. Each two-year cycle should also include 30 hours of continuing education.
Since nurses work on the front lines of healthcare, their input is often taken into heavy consideration during the legislative process. As a nurse, you may become a lobbyist for a nursing group, direct policy change and implementation at various institutions, or change statewide healthcare laws. To get an understanding for how nurses may influence healthcare policy, just look at the work of the Nevada Nurses Association. They affect legislation through committees like the Rural and Frontier Nursing Advisory Committee and the Healthy Nevada program.
In many cases, working in healthcare policy means working in local or state government. Agencies like the Division of Healthcare Financing and Policy explore the potential financial consequences of implementing certain bills, analyze the costs and risks of certain policies, and decide how and if policies are passed.
Those who create policies have a significant amount of power in deciding the future of the healthcare industry. With your nursing background, you know what the healthcare industry needs to thrive.
Find out how you can use your insight today by contacting graduate healthcare policy programs in Nevada.