How can nurses in Georgia affect policy change for the profession?
Every career has its own challenge, and nursing is not an exception. Nurses meet challenges that negatively affect their working condition and in due process demean their work efficiency. Since nurses have their challenging times, their united advocacy can be utilized in addressing their day-to-day issues. Georgia State, along with other states of America, have experienced several challenges that need immediate redress. Some issues that decrease the morale and working efficiency of nurses include scope-of-practice barriers that limit some professionals to specific duties, unconductive residency programs, relatively low proportion of nurses holding baccalaureate degree, reduced opportunities for continued medical education and inadequate infrastructure among other pertinent issues. For the nurses to improve their working performance and increase the quality of health care to the patients and other customers, their issues need to be addressed. Strategic approaches to solve the challenges are needed. This paper expounds on some ways the nurses can advocate for their issues through policy changes.
Nurses need to have strong unions and associations that can forge out their common stand to the policy-making authorities. Associations create a large workforce that can effectively compel lawmakers to agree to their demands in case of bureaucratic barriers. For instance, using the ANA (American Nurses Association) to push for policy changes can be fruitful as the organization is nationwide and in the event of supporting a specific legislation, the numbers easily convince the policy makers and subsequent changes are effected.
Nurses can utilize the media as a tool for policy change. For instance, securing airtime in the state or national radio and television and articulating the needed changes can increase awareness to the public. Involving the public and the specialist is a way of magnifying a problem to create a an urgency of solving it. The media forms a great supporting base for any issue that need to be addressed by other authorities apart from the nurses in Georgia.
The nurses have better knowledge of their issues than others do; writing proposals and presenting their challenges to the relevant authority like the ministry of health can serve as a springboard to addressing their issues . Writing policy proposals to authorities makes their needs understood easily by others, apart from their fellow professionals. These proposals should be accompanied by explanations and some education to aid in understanding the issues.
It is therefore possible that nurses can use a multiple of channels to articulate for policy changes. The above listed channels are not exhaustive and other methods can be used to affect policy changes. A strong nurses’ association can give the strongest bargaining ground for them hence it is encouraged.