To work in the nursing field, you need to learn quickly and apply newly gained knowledge to a variety of work situations. This skill can help you explore new areas of nursing and find areas of need in Virginia. Once you’ve become experienced as a registered nurse, you may be interested in furthering your education with a Master’s degree.
If you’re interested in healthcare policy, you may be able to contribute to Virginia healthcare in a new way. Policy experts aim to expand Medicaid in Virginia, a move that could improve care options for the elderly and disabled (Washington Post, 2016). A Medicaid expansion could also minimize the amount of people who cannot pay for healthcare. These efforts are in conjunction with numerous groups, including the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.
Are you ready to apply your nursing experience to the world of medical policy? Find out how you can get started by contacting Master’s in healthcare policy programs in Virginia.
To start working in healthcare policy, you have to be willing to look beyond your current scope of practice as a nurse and think critically about healthcare as a whole in Virginia. Your areas of interest may expand to include other healthcare practitioners, public health, healthcare finance, administration, and licensure.
Many of these areas are quite different from what you do as a registered nurse, which is why it is so important to earn a Master's degree in healthcare policy.
Programs in healthcare policy can differ quite a bit in Virginia, but on average, you'll find that programs require about 42 credits. Virginia schools may focus on health policy in the private and public sectors, improving the delivery of health services, the development of leadership skills, and population health.
These topics and other relevant subjects may be explored in courses like:
- Public Health Leadership and Management
- Applied Biostatistics
- Policy Tools for Population Health
- Practice-Based Experience
- Analytic Methods for Health Policy
- Social and Behavioral Theory
- Foundations of Health and Policy
- Public Health Epidemiology
Policy can be an extremely competitive field in terms of developing a reputation, which is why hands-on experience is so important. Many schools require you to complete an internship before you can graduate. You may also work with healthcare research and statistics.
Throughout your career, keep your nursing license up-to-date through the Virginia Board of Nursing. This involves renewing your license every two years.
If this is your first step into the world of healthcare policy, you may not know how nurses can impact health policies that are passed on or vetoed in Virginia. To get a full understanding of nurses and health policy in Virginia, you simply have to look at the Virginia Nurses Association.
They have been extremely active in legislation for many years. Recent priorities have included stricter staffing standards for nursing homes, the creation of a health benefit exchange, hospital discharge procedures, informed consent for all procedures, and additional steps in the newborn screening process.
In addition to the Virginia Nurses Association, you may work with government agencies, politicians, lobbying groups, and nonprofit organizations. Health policy is closely linked to public health, so you may find yourself working with the Virginia Public Health Association. A significant number of healthcare bills that are proposed in Virginia specifically relate to public health and the overall improvement of population health.
When you consider the long-reaching effects of healthcare legislation, it is clear that starting a career in this specialty is a great way to improve the healthcare industry in general.
Find out how you can start preparing for a career in health policy by contacting graduate healthcare policy programs in Virginia today.