The challenges in the Washington healthcare system are numerous and complex, which you have undoubtedly discovered as a registered nurse. By working with patients every day, you do your part to strengthen the healthcare system of your community. If you would like to affect change on a bigger scale, however, you may have other options to consider.
There are many ways in which healthcare policy can positively influence this industry. Current efforts in state legislature focus on a price transparency system (Puget Sound Business Journal, 2016). By completing a graduate degree in this area of study, you can be a voice for the nursing industry.
If you want to utilize your time in the nursing industry to create long-lasting change, health policy is the specialty for you. Learn more by reaching out to graduate healthcare policy programs in Washington.
The skills that have made you an excellent nurse in Washington are the same skills that may prepare you for the rigorous requirements of a healthcare policy program.
Healthcare policy is a graduate-level degree that generally requires between two and three years of study. During this time frame, you may earn between 39 and 45 credits. At most schools, this includes a three-credit internship and a three-credit capstone course.
One major goal of a healthcare policy program is to reshape how you think about healthcare problems, patient concerns, and healthcare access. The role of the registered nurse is to take each patient as they come and focus on the tasks at hand. However, in the world of policy, you have to look at each incident and problem on a grander scale. This involves looking for trends, understanding how policies may improve or worsen the problem, and developing innovative solutions.
These outcomes should be clearly outlined by your program. You may accomplish the learning goals of your healthcare policy program by taking courses like:
- Biological Concepts in Public Health
- Principles and Practice of Epidemiology
- Management and Policy Approaches to Public Health
- Fundamentals for Health Policy
- Statistical Analysis in Health Policy
- Advanced Health Policy Analysis
- Design of Health Studies
- Benefit-Cost Analysis
It is important to maintain your nursing license, particularly if your academic program requires healthcare experience or nursing licensure. The Washington Nursing Commission requires you to renew your license every year by your date of birth.
Getting established in this specialty takes time, dedication, and plenty of work. You may need to align with different healthcare interest groups to support your stance on policies and get behind proposed policies that have a high chance of success.
This is where your nursing career can be advantageous. The connections you have in the world of nursing may allow you to get involved in legislation fairly quickly. The Washington State Nurses Association has devoted time to causes like the Patient Safety Package, guaranteeing overtime pay and rest breaks for nurses, funding for a health professions scholarship, and global signature approval for advanced nurse practitioners.
You may also want to get involved in local groups and associations that advocate for the people of Washington. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy aspires to create and support policies that strengthen the field of public health, therefore making it easier for the people of Washington to lead long, healthy lives.
Are you ready to put your critical thinking skills to work in a new and exciting part of nursing? Getting involved in this specialty can help you create policies that improve life for nurses and patients.
Check out your options now and request information from Master's in healthcare policy programs in Washington.