To change the outcomes of an industry, you have to change it at every level. In healthcare, more than any other industry, this begins with policy.
If policymakers and legislators understand the demands of this field and create policies that mesh with the goals of healthcare providers, the people of Texas enjoy better healthcare as a result.
One area in which policy change is desperately needed is mental health. While other types of health laws have adapted to societal changes fairly rapidly, mental health is still misunderstood. Legislators in Texas are dedicated to studying the behavioral health system extensively and looking for ways to give residents the services they need (Amarillo Globe News, 2015).
Earning a Master’s degree can help you think about nursing issues and challenges in new, innovative ways. Compare your options with our list of graduate healthcare policy programs in Texas.
You may need to meet a rigorous set of admissions requirements before you are accepted to a Master’s degree program in Texas. Since these programs explore health policy and issues in complex ways, you may need up to five years of full-time nursing experience. However, some schools do accept students with less work experience. In addition, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing or another healthcare field.
In its entirety, your Master’s degree should include roughly 40 credits. You may first go through a set of classroom courses, including:
- Healthcare Finance
- Health Policy Analysis
- Health Policy in the US
- Healthcare Management and Policy Research
- Quality Management and Improvement in Healthcare
- Legal Issues in Healthcare
- Ethics and Policy
- Methods for Economic Evaluation
Once you finish these classes, you may apply your knowledge to a variety of real-life situations. Many programs require graduating students to complete an internship at a local political agency, government program, or lobbying organization. You may also enroll in a capstone course or research-based class.
Completing your program should prepare you to meet a clear, specific set of goals determined by your advisors. Texas colleges may focus on predicting the success and failure of healthcare ventures, assessing health policies in terms of efficacy and cost-efficiency, and analyzing the ethics behind the creation of health policies.
You must maintain your nursing license to work in a nursing role, even with a Master’s degree. The Texas Board of Nursing currently requires all licenses to be renewed every two years.
Health policy is a multifaceted, interdisciplinary field. As a result, you can use the education you gain during your Master’s degree to work in many different settings. You may choose to work for a private organization or healthcare facility, which may involve creating policies and procedures that meet evidence-based standards. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations can also benefit from hiring legislative experts with healthcare experience. You may look into job openings at government agencies like the Texas Health Institute. As you spend more time in this specialty, you may focus your work on specific subjects and areas of health policy.
Your background as a nurse is extremely valuable in this industry. The Texas Nurses Association shows you how much nurses contribute to public legislation. In 2015, priorities of the Texas Nurses Association included a bill that would protect nurses from workplace violence, a bill that would remove all regulatory restrictions for APRNs, the Nursing Shortage Reduction Program, and increased funding to boost enrollment in APRN programs.
With a Master’s degree in health policy, you may shape the future of nursing in Texas. Take the first step now by contacting Master’s in healthcare policy programs in Texas.