Have you ever thought about using your years of experience as a nurse to become a healthcare decision-maker? How about leveraging that same experience to help others make decisions? Entering hospital administration is often the capstone for career nurses, and you can get a head start with more education.
A Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program includes coursework on healthcare policy. Did you know that knowledge of healthcare policy is used every day by hospital administrators? They use it to direct new initiatives or as a target for change. Having a large repository of knowledge in healthcare policy can improve your ability to become a good healthcare decision-maker.
What Is Healthcare Policy and Why Is It Vital?
Healthcare policy is an umbrella term that describes the decisions, plans and actions undertaken to achieve specific healthcare goals within a community. Effective healthcare policy can define a vision for the future that establishes targets and points of reference for the short and medium term. Making recommendations based on the best-available research evidence is one example.
However, issuing recommendations makes little sense if they are not followed. Healthcare policy, therefore, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many intricate details beyond goal setting. There must be a deep understanding of systematic impact and how findings relate to and affect other policies.
For decision-makers, a deep understanding of healthcare policy can help answer many questions:
- What is the likely disease burden that might be prevented or reduced?
- Which programs and policy options are likely to result in meaningful improvements in health?
- How will the benefits be distributed among the affected groups?
- Which potential solutions are appropriate and feasible for a specific situation?
Applying Healthcare Policy as a Decision-Maker
With in-depth knowledge of healthcare policy, you can better understand the administrative side of your field. Your employer will value your ability to implement prevention strategies and interventions. Additionally, with a strong healthcare policy foundation, you'll have the knowledge to form effective collaborations with other healthcare workers, thus improving healthcare delivery to a wider variety of patients.
Should you wish to expand your career horizons, deep knowledge of healthcare policy can set the stage for new roles and responsibilities. For example, as a health administrator you may oversee a department or even an entire facility. You may manage a small medical practice to improve the planning and implementation of health services at the community level. The options are almost unlimited.
Learning About Healthcare Policy in a BSN Program
If you are interested in learning more about healthcare policy but can't take time off to return to school, consider enrolling in an online RN to BSN program. The health policy course in the University of North Carolina Wilmington's online RN to BSN program is structured like a debate-seminar that emphasizes the social, psychological, cultural, economic, political, legal and ethical environments which shape healthcare delivery systems today.
Whether you want to improve your nursing practice or are interested in moving into an administrative role, adding healthcare policy to your repertoire of knowledge is a step in the right direction.
Learn more about the UNCW online RN to BSN program.
Sources:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: For Policy Makers
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