Leadership and Management in Nursing and Health Care
Political Action Awareness in Healthcare
The health sector is very crucial in the functioning of the US economy because economic and social development is pegged on healthy people. Both primary and secondary healthcare issues are paramount to the people of the United States. There are many players in the US healthcare sector. These include the government departments that deal in health and the America Nurses Association. The ANA is one of the biggest healthcare bodies in the United States. It is a professional organization and represents over 3 million registered nurses in the United States. The Association has a wide membership with very strong links with the public which gives it power to monitor the political developments in the country and its influence on healthcare. This paper thus discuses how leaders in the sector can use ANA in political undertakings and the importance of such actions (Ponte, et al, 2007).
The ANA – Professional Organization for Political Awareness
The America Nurses Association is resourceful for nurse leaders. It has an expansive website with lots of resources for its members and the public. There are voluminous pieces of information on national and state healthcare policies, legislation and research outcomes. It also has links to legislative agencies in the healthcare sector and policy formulators. Therefore, nurse leaders can take advantage of the availability of resources to get facts and insights on healthcare improvement. The association has set high standards of integrity which is a positive pointer to its initiatives and the development of the healthcare industry (Ponte, et al, 2007).
The ANA is not only charged with the responsibility of protecting the nursing practice but also moderating the working environment of nurses. These responsibilities give a lee way to the betterment of the nursing profession and sector. The ANA ensures that the nurse leaders are informed of the legislation that governs their roles (Ponte, et al, 2007).
Why it is important to maintain political awareness
The shortage of nurses is an active problem which needs proactive steps by the ANA. ANA has to spearhead nurses into certain course that will help then handle the problem objectively. Public opinion on nursing is positively impacted. Their roles are best understood at this stage hence helping to eliminate the real problem. These include involvement and participation of nurses in nursing issues and public education: hospital staffing, political structure in the healthcare system, preventive healthcare and Medicare. The other thing, which can be done by ANA, is the raising of the practitioner visibility of nurses. Nurses can get absorbed into the community by being enrolled in school and local community organization boards. This can also be achieved through involvement in charitable activities within the community. This challenge facing the nursing industry can be addressed if the nurses gain a strong voice in political decision making. Nurses need to be active in political decision making by being mobilized to vote for political candidates who can bring change in the healthcare industry. By this, they will be able to influence public opinions on issues and challenges in healthcare (Donley & Flaherty, 2002).
The level of political awareness amongst the nurses in the United States is far below average. Political decisions directly and indirectly influence the working of the healthcare bodies in the United States. The nurses tend to focus only on certain nursing issues for instance staffing levels while ignoring the wider political environment in which the sector is situated. Politics, health issues and nursing practices are interconnected thus nurses must understand these interactions. This means that they must understand politics and its influence on healthcare and the nursing issues. The ANA has to lead the nurses in this (Donley & Flaherty, 2002).