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Change is an integral part of producing policies (Patton et al., 2019). And, of course, change comes from the need to do something better, more effective, less expensive, or even just practical. For example, daily, nurses learn about new evidence that backs up innovation, resulting in patient care changes. Then those changes generate the need for policy, which makes change turn into a set of rules, protocols, or guidelines that help us maintain standards to benefit patient outcomes and nursing in general.
Examples of nursing leadership are many. For example, Laura Reichhardt, MS, AGPCNP, RN, of Hawaii, advocated with government officials to ensure adequate resources during the initial part of the pandemic response. As a result of the crisis, she helped develop the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation to waive licensure requirements for new AD, BS, NP/DNP grads to work during the Covid 19 surges in Hawaii and other states (Johnson & Johnson Nursing, 2021). In addition, she has helped enact 25 bills that have allowed Nurse Practitioners (NP) to perform to the full extent of their training (Nursing Hawaii, 2021).
Danielle Pendergrass, DNP, APRN, a woman’s health Nurse Practitioner in rural Utah, provides her services in an underserved area. She became the author of uprising innovation when she started offering telehealth services to her patients, opening the door to healthcare access to even more local patients who cannot travel to her clinic, giving her regional recognition. She also partners with local, state, and federal agencies to guarantee access to essential health care services to the local community. Moreover, she has been influential in changes to Utah’s Medicaid policy, allowing nurse practitioners to directly bill and get reimbursed by Medicaid at 100% physicians rate (Johnson & Johnson Nursing, 2021).
The need to develop progress and good outcomes creates the necessity for change and policy modification or creation. Nurses are direct participants of the process, and with the nation pushing toward healthcare reforms, the opportunities for policy changes are certainly reachable.
Johnson&JohnsonNursing,com. (2021). Nurses Leading Innovation. Meet 15 Nurses who Disrupted Healthcare Through the Covid 19 Pandemic. https://nursing.jnj.com/nursing-news-events/nurses-leading-innovation/meet-15-nurses-who-disrupted-healthcare-through-the-covid-19-pandemic
Nursing Hawaii.edu. (2020). State Center for Nursing Director Awarded Nurse Leader Award in Policy. https://nursing.hawaii.edu/hawaii-state-center-for-nursing-director-awarded-nurse-leader-award-in-policy/?print=print
Patton, R., Zalon, M., & Ludwick, R. (2019). Nurses Making Policy from Bedside to Boardroom (Second Edition). Springer Publishing