One of the benefits of working in the field of nursing is the experience it gives you in different industries. Even without legislative experience, your work has likely made you well aware of policy changes and advances in New Jersey. After all, these decisions are ones that affect your entire career. Particularly in recent years, the world of healthcare has changed, and evolving policies are behind it.
It can be difficult to find professionals to contribute to the world of healthcare policy. Professional politicians and legislators may not have the healthcare experience needed to make policies that actually lead to positive change, while nurses and doctors may not have the political experience necessary to contribute to legislation. As a registered nurse, you can help solve both of these problems by furthering your education with a Master's degree in health policy.
New Jersey is in the middle of changing many crucial healthcare policies. Measures being considered to improve mental health include the creation of a dedicated psychiatric emergency room, triage depression screenings, and housing programs to give homeless people the chance to focus on mental health recovery (NJ.com, 2015).
If you're excited about the idea of improving public health in New Jersey, explore graduate healthcare policy programs in New Jersey below.
Generally, health policy programs have demanding admissions requirements. If you think you may want to pursue this degree, check out admissions requirements right away so you can work to meet the educational and experience requirements set out by local schools.
You do need a Bachelor's degree, and a Bachelor's degree in nursing may give you a greater chance of acceptance. In terms of work experience, some schools do not expect any relevant work experience, while other schools require up to five years in the medical industry. High grades at the undergraduate level are expected, and you may also need to pass courses like microeconomics and biostatistics.
When you begin your education, plan on earning between 36 and 42 credits. Courses that are often included in health policy programs include:
- Health Systems and Policy
- Healthcare Economics
- Health Ethics and Law
- Policy and Practice in Health
- Health Systems and Healthcare Policy
- Policy Research Methods
- Managing Healthcare Delivery
- Public Health Management and Practice
- Data for Health Services and Policy
Completing the required courses should give you the extensive knowledge and critical thinking skills you need to thrive in policy. Schools may test your understanding in many areas, including the organization of healthcare systems and agencies, insurance policies and procedures, population health theories, health coverage initiatives, and the protection of vulnerable populations.
Throughout your training, ensure that your nursing license is valid through the New Jersey Board of Nursing. Renewal applications are due every two years.
Once you start working in this part of the healthcare industry, you may collaborate with professionals from many different industries and associations to accomplish your goals.
Groups like the New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute work toward the specific goal of improving health outcomes by implementing evidence-based policies. Nonprofit groups like the New Jersey State Nurses Association have been involved in policy creation for many years.
Recently, this association supported a safe staffing law, a death certification bill, the Safety Needle Act, the Safe Patient Handling Act, and the Violence in Healthcare Facilities Act. The more time you spend learning about policy, the more you'll discover different ways that you can influence change in this industry and ally with specific groups to support your stances.
Working in policy gives you an active role in the future of New Jersey healthcare. Take the first step and request information from graduate healthcare policy programs in New Jersey.