The lack of participation in health policy and nursing organizations through the nursing profession has far-reaching impacts. Nurses make up a large portion of the healthcare industry, yet nurses are not present at the table when decisions are made about the profession and the healthcare mandates regarding patient care. The overall goal of this project is to understand nursing policy awareness and its barriers, educate nurses on ways to find and inform policy, promote association involvement to elevate the nursing profession, and promote patient and nursing safety through advocacy.
A qualitative survey was sent to the University of South Alabama's well-connected Faculty and Master of Science and Doctorate Nursing program students. The Qualtrics survey system allowed for data collection. A qualitative review for themes was used for processing qualitative data. The project's authors intended goal was to use this data to create modules around the thematic issues to promote topic awareness, health policy participation, and associational nursing involvement.
The initial survey was completed by 71 participants. The participant demographic revealed a diverse population that lived in 12 different states across the United States. A majority of the participants are involved in organizations, but 10% did not have memberships in organizations. Their interests in joining were largely the same, and they valued membership for networking and educational purposes. Surveyed participants revealed a wide range of issues that they feel are valuable. These themes included: Pay, Scope of practice/Autonomy, Burnout/stress, violence/prosecution, staffing issues, travel nursing, equality in pay/diversity/racism/inclusion, education, and access to care for patients.
One of the goals of this project was to assess nursing involvement. The project aimed to identify important issues of nurses working and studying in the field, leading to the initial phase of identifying themes that will be used for future learning opportunities. In the future, early buy-in and the assurance of continued buy-in will be essential in creating a successful and sustainable quality improvement project. This author hopes to continue building and creating a positive promotion of nursing associational involvement and advocate for current topics that are important to nurses working in the profession. Further study of how barriers impact nursing involvement is essential in helping to promote not only the profession but how the quality of patient care is tied to nursing political and associational involvement.