Nurses have a significant role in affecting the legislative process. They can contact the committees and state officials personally or through a professional organization to discuss their professional experiences and address existing problems. This paper discusses the parts of the lawmaking process that care providers can influence, lists the way in which they can do it, and outlines their role in promoting health status through policy changes.
The lawmaking process
The lawmaking process involves several stages, including the development of an idea, ball drafting and its introduction, committee action, and amendment (New York Senate State, n.d.). Nurses have an opportunity to affect the final bill passage by suggesting an idea to senators or state officials. New bills are referred to appropriate committees and subcommittees. Nurses should know what committees are handling a bill to target their actions to particular congresspeople. In addition, there are hearings, markups, and votes, during which the positions of the bill’s supporters are recorded and the possible changes are made. Nurses have an opportunity to affect the bill passage during the processes of hearings and markups. During the amendment process, care providers can also make an influence on the bill.
There are several ways in which such influence can take place. For instance, nurses can advocate for changes or support the bill by contacting the conference committee members and suggesting possible adjustments. In their messages, care providers can discuss the challenges they encounter due to the lack of legislation or share the experiences that would be useful to the committee members.
In addition, nurses can affect the final bill passage by joining a professional nursing organization (Brokaw, 2016). Such an approach can make their perspectives more visible to the officials and potentially enhance the congresspeople’s awareness of existing problems. It is possible to say that the second option is preferable, as it allows nurses to join the common effort of making a change in existing policies. In addition, nursing organizations’ opinions may have more weight for the committees compared to singular people’s ones.
Social determinants of health
One of the social determinants of health is access to health services (Singh et al., 2017). Nurses can play a significant role in promoting health status among the population by suggesting changes that would allow more individuals to use health services. For instance, they can advocate for the development of insurance programs for people of low economic or social status. They can contact state senators and other authorities responsible for healthcare bills to discuss the challenges the country’s population faces due to the current insurance system.
They can address the patients that have severe conditions but cannot pay for medical care and highlight the significance of affordable medical insurance for everyone. In addition, they can perform evaluations on the health outcomes in patients who are unable to seek medical attention timely and report the findings. Thus, the nurses’ role in enhancing the population’s health status and changing existing policies is vital.
The report shows that it is vital for nurses to advocate for changes, as they have many opportunities to affect the final bill passage and existing policies in the field. Care providers can join professional organizations or contact state officials personally to discuss their experiences, existing problems, and patients’ potential barriers to care. In addition, they can participate in the processes of hearings and markups.
Brokaw, J. J. (2016). The nursing profession’s potential impact on policy and politics. Web.
New York Senate State. (n.d.). How a bill becomes a law. Web.
Singh, G. K., Daus, G. P., Allender, M., Ramey, C. T., Martin, E. K., Perry, C.,… Vedamuthu, I. P. (2017). Social determinants of health in the United States: Addressing major health inequality trends for the nation, 1935-2016. International Journal of MCH and AIDS, 6(2), 139-164.