Like most industries, the field of healthcare is dictated by policy. The policies put in place by institutions, states, and the federal government all impact how nurses work, what their scope of practice is, and which services are available to South Dakota residents.
For that reason, getting involved in health policy is an excellent way to change the medical industry and improve health outcomes in South Dakota.
Policy creators in South Dakota have contributed to many important efforts over the years. Better Choices, Better Health is a statewide program that hopes to help South Dakota residents manage their chronic diseases in the best way possible (Butte County Post, 2015).
Implementing this program is expected to save the state millions of dollars by assisting residents with preventive care and minimizing the amount of emergency care that is needed.
Do you have great ideas for health laws and policies in South Dakota? Take your nursing career to the next level and request information from Master’s in healthcare policy programs in South Dakota.
Like most students, you are probably drawn to health policy because of one specific area of legislation that interests you. For example, you may want to change practice rights for nurses, improve the funding for disease research, represent an underserved population, or make healthcare more transparent.
However, there are many extremely diverse areas of health policy, and you should be ready to develop informed viewpoints on all of these topics. For that reason, a Master's degree is necessary for the field of health policy.
Most South Dakota health policy programs involve about 42 credits, which is slightly more than what you may find in other graduate nursing programs.
In your required 42 credits, you may find courses like:
- Promotion of Health and Prevention of Disease
- Advanced Healthcare Management
- Rural Health Policies
- Advanced Concepts in Health Policy
- Public Policy and Addiction
- Experimental Design and Analysis
- Advanced Statistics
Relevant experience is crucial in this particular specialty. Policy can be a difficult world to break into, particularly if you do not have many contacts in legislation. Completing an internship or practicum course can help you start building the necessary professional network for future success.
Remember that your role as a nurse is a big part of your credibility and health policy. Failing to maintain your status as a registered nurse could hinder you in your career. Through the South Dakota Board of Nursing, make sure you renew your license every two years.
As you work your way through your graduate program, you'll likely discover that nurses play a fairly large role in South Dakota healthcare legislation. The more you learn, the more you can start getting a feel for what you want to do in policy and how you want to use your nursing education.
The South Dakota Nurses Association is an excellent example of what nurses can do in local policy. The legislative committee of this group has worked hard to establish the South Dakota Board of Nursing as the only regulatory agency for nursing, improve education options for nurses, fund rehabilitation of impaired health workers, and strengthen the public health infrastructure.
Since health policy is an interdisciplinary field, you may become well-versed in other parts of healthcare. The South Dakota Public Health Association focuses on policies and laws that make South Dakota healthier for residents and improve health outcomes across the state.
If you are passionate about healthcare and you want to use your nursing experience to improve the quality of life of South Dakota residents, a health policy degree is the next step for you.
Check out your options by contacting graduate healthcare policy programs in South Dakota.