Nursing Students' Attitudes Towards Nurses’ Participation in the Policymaking Process
Background: World Health Organization emphasizes the contribution of nurses in planning and implementing health policies and reforms.
Aim: To evaluate nursing students’ attitudes towards nurses’ involvement in health policy issues.
Methods: Mixed-methods; qualitative and quantitative – a descriptive study. Participants - nursing students who were enrolled in their last year in the undergraduate program (BSN). Qualitative data included two open-ended questions: What is health policy and what is the importance of studying health policy, and 18 statements on the Likert Scale range 1-5.
Results: Qualitativeanalysisrevealed that the majority of students defined health policy as a set of rules and regulations that defined procedures, borders and proper conduct. 73% students responded that nurses should be active in policymaking but only 22% thought that nurses were currently involved in political issues. 28% thought that nurses do not have the knowledge and the time needed (60%) for political activity. 77% thought that the work environment did not encourage nurses to be politically active. Nursing students are aware of the importance towards nurses’ involvement in health policy issues, however they do not have role models based on their low evaluation regarding nurses’ involvement in the health policy decision making process at the local or national level.
Conclusions: Results emphasize the importance and the need of implementation the recommendation to include “advance policy changes” as core competency in nursing education and practice.
Implementation: Accordingly of raise awareness of nurse’s role in society we have devolved a Master's degree program in nursing for the first time in Israel, that aims to advance professional leadership in nursing to partner in policy development and labelling leading to implementation of the Ministry of Health's goals, including promoting quality, safety and service, with emphasis on the patient's experience and clinical outcomes. Realization of these goals will also close social gaps in health, cost-benefit considerations in the health systems.
The lecture will present the newMA program, its rationale, evaluation and accompanying conclusions after two years.
Keywords - Health policy, Nursing education, Health systems, Student perceptions, Israel.