Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation

Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) have many opportunities to participate in policy review.  According to Giovanni, data collection and analysis of that data are vital to developing effective outcome measures when it comes to improvements in the cost and quality of delivered health care (2012). The first opportunity that exists for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review is through boards of nursing. State board of nursing policies change from state to state. For example, APRNs’ ability to do things within their scope of practice relies heavily on polices set by the state. According to Klein, the Provus Discrepancy Model is applied to suggest revisions to consensus curriculum and regulatory guidelines for nurse practitioners (NPs) seeking prescriptive authority (2012). The second opportunity is through boards at workplaces. The RNs and APRNs are professionals who can influence healthcare programs. The major roles of the RNs and APRNs are to assure the best quality care and health outcomes of patients. Through nurses’ workplaces, RNs and APRNs have the ability to influence policy review by ensuring that the policies made are effective for the nursing environment. According to Whitehead, the nursing literature is often particularly critical of the fact that nurses and nursing are not well represented at a health policy level. This equates to situations where health agenda, for many nurses, are often formulated and dictated by organizations and professional bodies other than nursing – especially medicine and management (2008). Policy review in the workplace allow nurses to convey feelings on what may or may not be effective in the workplace. Nurses are frontline workers who work closely with patients daily. With policy review, nurses are able to help administration and board members throw out unfit polices that they know will not benefit nurses and the patients. 


Challenges that may occur with these opportunities are the access nurses may have to board and administrative meetings. For example, the state board of nursing has set members who apply and get approval to sit on the board. Nurses can apply to sit on these boards but they may not get approval. Challenges that can occur in workplaces are the ability of staff nurses to review polices in administrative settings. Most administrative meetings do not normally include staff nurses. Challenges such as the ones listed above can be eliminated by allowing staff nurses to attend these meetings and to also be a part of boards. One strategy I may create to better advocate for existence of these opportunities are to allow open sessions in board meetings for both state board of nursing and workplaces. One other strategy that can be created is to allow additional members, such as staff nurses to run a certain amount of board meetings in state board and workplaces. In doing this, it will allow polices to be reviewed by staff nurses and create the most beneficial outcome.


Giovanni, L. A. (2012). End-of-life care in United States: current reality and future promise--a policy review. Nursing Economic$30(3), 127–134.

Klein, T. (2012). The 1998 curriculum guidelines and regulatory criteria for family nurse practitioners seeking prescriptive authority: what should we be teaching nurse prescribers today? Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners24(5), 297–302. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/j.1745-7599.2011.00687.x

Whitehead, D. (2008). Review of policy & politics in nursing and health care - 5th edition. Journal of Clinical Nursing17(10), 1400. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.01946.x


Discussion: The Role of the RN/APRN in Policy Evaluation

In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making. A critical component of any policy design is evaluation of the results. How comfortable are you with the thought of becoming involved with such matters?

Some nurses may be hesitant to get involved with policy evaluation. The preference may be to focus on the care and well-being of their patients; some nurses may feel ill-equipped to enter the realm of policy and political activities. However, as you have examined previously, who better to advocate for patients and effective programs and polices than nurses? Already patient advocates in interactions with doctors and leadership, why not with government and regulatory agencies?

In this Discussion, you will reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.

To Prepare:

  • In the Module 4 Discussion, you considered how professional nurses can become involved in policy-making.
  • Review the Resources and reflect on the role of professional nurses in policy evaluation.

By Day 3 of Week 9

Post an explanation of at least two opportunities that currently exist for RNs and APRNs to actively participate in policy review. Explain some of the challenges that these opportunities may present and describe how you might overcome these challenges. Finally, recommend two strategies you might make to better advocate for or communicate the existence of these opportunities. Be specific and provide examples.

By Day 6 of Week 9

Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days by suggesting additional opportunities or recommendations for overcoming the challenges described by your colleagues.



 I am not sure which state you live in, as things are different in each state.   Most boards of nursing do have open meetings, and you can sit in on the discussions.  You do have to pre-register before attending these meetings, and you are not a part of the decision-making committee (Nursing regulation, n.d.).  If you attend, it is more to learn about how the process works.  I make this suggestion because this allows you to view how policy-making begins.  It is fascinating, but it is very time-consuming. I have attended some state board meetings as a visitor.  I was never a board member; therefore, I could not participate in the policy-making, but I shared with my colleagues the information discussed.  Also, I agree with you regarding nurses becoming active members in policy-making.  As a suggestion, you can ask your director for monthly staff meetings, and as part of these staff meetings, there should be a presentation by a staff nurse in regards to possible changes to the workflow that would benefit the unit.  These proposals can be a small step into policy-making.   Some of the proposals may be enlightening, and you can start trying to get some of the processes implemented in your hospital.      


Brokaw, J. J. (2016, September 22). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. Retrieved from American Nurses: https://www.myamericannurse.com/nursing-professions-potential-impact-policy-politics

Nursing regulation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2021, from National Council of State Boards of Nursing: https://www.ncsbn.org/boards.htm