Saturday February 24th 2018

Paving the way for nurse policymakers

The American Nurses Foundation, the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association, in May announced a new effort to fund a Washington-based fellowship focused on maximizing nurses’ placement at the highest policymaking tables and engaging and fostering nurses’ policy activism.

Support for the effort comes from editors of the book Nurses Making Policy: From Bedside to Boardroom, Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, FAAN; Margarete L. Zalon, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN; and Ruth Ludwick, PhD, RN-BC, CNS, FAAN.

The Foundation’s new Public Policy Fellowship Fund is being launched with contributions from nurse leaders and the editors’ royalties. More than $25,000 has been contributed to date.

Nurses Making Policy: From Bedside to Boardroom is a practical, how-to book written to help advanced nursing students and nurse leaders develop health policy skills to advocate for patients from the bedside to the larger political arena. It also describes the requisite steps for facilitating policy change — from understanding the political system through activating a plan and beyond. Woven throughout the book are the major themes of ethics, leadership, safety and the quest for high quality care.

Editor and author Rebecca (Becky) Patton, past president of ANA and an Ohio Nurses Association member, believes nurses must be engaged in and supportive of advocacy work. “The fellowship fund will ensure that nursing influence through policy development extends to every level of government — including the executive branch,” Patton said. She challenges every nurse to support the fund and get involved in advocacy within their community. “It is an investment in our future as nurses,” Patton continued. “We must ensure individual nurses can participate in policy discussions and decisions.”

One of the fund’s first donors, Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, chair of the American Nurses Foundation, believes the future is in our hands. “It’s critical as nurses that we ensure our voices are part of every health care policy discussion,” Fitzpatrick said. “The Public Policy Fellowship Fund will help enable that to happen if nurses support it.”

Resources

Contribute to the Public Policy Fund at www.givetonursing.org.

Order Nurses Making Policy: From Bedside to Boardroom
Springer Publishing Company at www.springerpub.com/nurses-making-policy.html
Nursesbooks.org at www.nursesbooks.org/NursesMakingPolicy


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