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Week 1: Cost and Quality Approaches

A variety of systems have been utilized in the United States in an attempt to provide cost-effective, quality healthcare without federal government regulation. What cost and/or quality measure has worked in the past that may prove beneficial in our current society?

Week 2: Using Upstream Thinking for Public Health Reform

After reading the assigned articles by Bharel and Kennedy-Stewart:

Consider a public health concern such as illicit drug use, obesity, smoking, or alcohol abuse in your state. As a nurse, what would you advocate for that would improve health for the population rather than focusing on the individual? How would such policy be influenced by the ACA?

Week 3: Governing Healthcare

Research an area of healthcare that you are interested in finding more about the laws and/or policies. Discuss the importance of this area of interest and include the governmental agency or organization that governs that area of practice, if applicable.

Week 4: RN Safe Staffing Act

Massive reductions in nursing budgets, combined with the challenges presented by a growing nursing shortage, have resulted in fewer nurses who are working longer hours and caring for sicker patients. This situation compromises care and contributes to the nursing shortage by creating an environment that drives nurses from the bedside. The American Nurses Association (ANA) is fighting for legislation that would hold hospitals accountable for the development and implementation of unit-by-unit nurse staffing plans created in coordination with direct care registered nurses (RNs) themselves, and based on each unit’s unique circumstances and changing needs.

Explore a current or proposed law/policy regulating nurse staffing at the institutional, state, or federal level. How is nurse staffing defined (ratios, acuity, census)? Present the law and/or policy and provide information on where this law can be found. What is the intended effect of the law and/or policy on patient outcomes?

Week 5: Policy and Professional Ethics

Briefly describe a healthcare policy you are interested in learning more about. What ethical dilemmas arise when first looking at the policy? Discuss your opinion based on the ANA Nursing Code of Ethics.

Week 6: Policy Origination and Impact

 

Explore the Nurse Practice Act in your state for a change that has taken place in the past year. Contact the board of nursing or review minutes from the board for information on sources of this policy or rule change. Share your findings and provide insight into how this change will affect nursing practice in your state.

Week 7: Nurses Leading Change

Nurse leaders may be practicing in a healthcare facility; members of city, county, state, or federal legislation; nursing educators; or leaders in professional healthcare organizations. Investigate a nurse leading policy change. Define his or her position in the community and present one of the issues he or she is working on to make a difference in healthcare.

Week 8: Reflection on Course Outcomes

Reflect on the concepts and practices you have learned in this course on healthcare systems, politics, and policy. Share insights on what you have learned. How will you utilize what you have learned to make informed decisions on nursing practice and patient outcomes?

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