Policy Brief in Nursing

There are debates about the involvement of nurses in policy development, formulation modifications, and analysis and evaluation, shaped by the professional engagement, educational preparation, maturity level, and practice experience in the health profession. The involvement in policy analysis has been characterized by the development of political voice, through the development of groups like the American Nurses Association Political Action Committee. The engagement of nurses in policy analysis has helped nurses to articulate vital issues and solutions to government policy analyst. Therefore, this article identifies the relevant policy changes aimed at minimizing health care cost and disparities and improving care.

According to Porche (2012), nurses are influenced by personal efficacy, recruitment network, partisanship influence, and political interests, to engage in organized political activities. The nurses utilize policy briefs to identify the context of a problem and alternative for resolutions, as well as the consequences of each resolution, therefore enabling them to come up with an optimal solution to issues affecting health care.

Meaningful Policy Changes to Improve Care

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2017), there are various policies changes required in the American health systems to improve health care. The policy aims at ensuring that the Americans receive better healthcare using a coordinated service across the complex health system, where health care workers and health institutions work together to minimize health disparities and enhance healthcare. The policy also aims at optimizing population health through mitigating the effects of mortality and morbidity and ensures that patients have access to affordable care by encouraging the federal government to increase healthcare funding and budget.

Underlying Issue

Inadequately conceived laws, policies, and regulations are the underlying issue which calls for health policy advocacy in the health care system. The health care advocates have championed for local, states and national policies and regulations aimed at preventing and minimizing the sufferings of patients with disabilities, by asking the Congress and the policy makers for prevention and treatment funds of a condition like traumatic brain injury. Moreover, the health advocates have called for local states and national policies by supporting policies that increase rehabilitation funding and nursing research education and also policies that expand their workforce, hence safeguarding the public health (Oncology Nursing Society, 2012).


According to the Oncology Nursing Society (2012), healthcare professionals represent and work on behalf of patients, their family members, doctors, and physicians treating the patients and health insurers. The advocates of policy change comprise various stakeholders such as the governor’s office, community, senior Medicaid and agency leadership, patients, and the state legislature who work together to develop programs that ensure the availability of high-quality care for a community. The nurses advocate for measures that can solve the challenge of health disparities when accessing healthcare, provision of affordable quality healthcare, and extended insurance coverage.


The stakeholders involved in health advocacy and the change of healthcare policies have called for the need of using a computerized health record which helps the physicians and other health care staffs serving the patients to avoid dangerous medical mistakes and reduce costs of healthcare. The resolutions adopted by the stakeholders of health care advocacy are the core reforms initiatives needed to help improve healthcare and manage the business costs. Moreover, health advocates have championed for the passage of Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Acts provisions as a solution to improve healthcare, lower the costs of healthcare and also reduce health disparities. Majority of the funds released by the government after the advocacy is currently used as incentives and rewards to hospitals who have a good reputation of improved coordinated care, adequate privacy and security protection of personal information, and facilities that coordinate and partner with other health stakeholders (In Nelson & In Staggers, 2014).

At Least Two Specific Alternative Resolutions

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (2014), there is a need for specific alternative resolutions to minimize health disparities, lower health care cost and improve healthcare. The alternative resolutions include encouraging the appropriate utilization of healthcare resources and increasing a competent healthcare workforce.

Positive Consequences of Each Resolution

The appropriate utilization of health resources is a necessary resolution which helps lower the cost of healthcare minimizes health disparities and improves healthcare because it eliminates the differences and aligns all the patients irrespective of their financial considerations. By contrast, the increased workforce is vital because it helps promote access to quality care service among the ethnic minority groups such as the blacks (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2014).

Negative Consequences of Each Resolution

Appropriate utilization of health resources is disadvantageous to some patients because Patients encounter a variety of socio-economic barriers such as transport difficulties, and the challenge in paying the little fee, thus discouraging the patients from using available community health resource to lower the costs of health care and minimize health disparities. By contrast, the use of increased healthcare workforce as an alternative to healthcare advocacy and policy change is disadvantageous because it requires a lot of finance and budget allocation, therefore increasing the government spending (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2014).

Cost of Each Resolution

The National Conference of State Legislation (2014), estimates that the increased healthcare workforce, as the alternative resolution to the advocacy of healthcare policies, may cost more than 1 trillion dollars. Moreover, about thirty percent of the United States medical expenditure may be allocated to increase the health workforce. By contrast, appropriate utilization of community resource requires more than $500.

Financial Implications of Each Resolution

Appropriate utilization of available health community resource has financial implications on the United States health budget. The budget will focus on medical technology which may be utilized inappropriately. Moreover, the use of community resource as an alternative to healthcare advocacy in minimizing healthcare cost and health disparities may distort the payment systems which have been blamed for the higher price of health services. Increase healthcare workforce also has financial implications because it may force the state to set up a supplementary budget since the workforce issue may not be aligned with the needs of the nation. The increased workforce may also lead to increased administrative costs of healthcare, and increased medical liability (American College of Physician, 2009).




The use of community resource, as an alternative resolution to policy change, is vital because it enables the relevant community members who need health services to develop their community capacities and connection, thus producing better outcomes such as health status. The community building approach has an impact of emphasizing on the local leadership development, strengthening the social capital, and promoting collaboration. The increased workforce of healthcare staff will help in addressing health disparities using a combined state and the community resources available through grants and contracts, hence increasing staff to patient ratio (American College of Physician, 2009).


The use of community health resource and increased health workforce will have an impact on the state resource because states lack sustainable funding to cater for the increased workforce and encouraging the patients to utilize community resources. Moreover, the use of alternative resolutions may face the challenge of lack of sustainable standard core curriculum for the community health workers (American College of Physician, 2009).

Quality of Care

Health care advocacy and policy change will improve the quality of care because the health officials will develop and use their skills to advocate for better services, and also persuade individuals in powerful positions to meet the needs of the patients and their families. Moreover, it will leverage the relationship between community healthcare and educational institution because schools offer educational training to healthcare staff (American College of Physician, 2009).


Patient Outcomes

The desired outcome of the advocacy process and policy is to influence the decision which improves the health of those individuals served by the health professions. The advocacy for policy changes to improve care, lower costs, and reduce health disparities, are intertwined with the policy decisions which determines how health care staff practice linked with advocacy process that influence these decisions. The advocacy process helps mitigate the effects of the leading causes of health mortality, which are specifically related to socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity of the patient (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2017).

Ethical Considerations of Each Resolution

The health sector faces various ethical challenges, in their effort to encourage the use of community health resource, as an alternative resolution to nursing advocacy for policy change aimed at changing policies to improve care, lower costs, and reduce health disparities. The ethical considerations include resource distribution to each neighborhood. Moreover, another ethical challenge on increasing healthcare workforce is the availability of health equipment’s, drugs and facilities. The healthcare staff requires a lot of resources to train to the full extent of their capabilities, therefore demanding more workforce with less available resources means that the community staff will receive inadequate training, thus endangering the life of patients (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2017).

Legal and Regulatory Considerations of Each Resolution

The state policymakers must enact policies that encourage students to take health professional courses and pursue primary care, hence increasing the health workforce, which is an alternative to the advocacy of health care policy. According to Porche (2012), policymakers can legislate acts that require the united states government to allocate education loans to nursing students, therefore motivating them to enroll for the program in large number, and increase the nursing workforce. By contrast, the legislators should make laws which focus on providing community social workers-based training opportunities to expand primary care at the community level. The use of community resource can be successful if the legislators make laws that support the improvement of the community physician training, who can serve residents in underserving areas.

Include One Legal Case as Supporting Evidence for Each Resolution

The case of the state versus Greensboro civil rights movement in 1960 is an example of legal evidence supporting the use of community resource to improve care, lower costs, and reduce health disparities. The case was filed by a civil right movement called Greensboro, where they sought to end racial inequality in offering health services. The movement also claimed that the state was reluctant to explain why memorial and Wesley long hospital served white patients and ignored black patients (Bhaskaran, 2017). The decision by the United States court to uphold the legality of the Obama care act is an example of a case supporting the increase of health workforce, as a mechanism of improving care, lowering costs, and reducing health disparities. The evidence supports the provision of health subsidies to all Americans including an increase health workforce (Tate, 2012).

Include One Existing Regulation as Supporting Evidence for Each Resolution

The Affordable Care Act is an example of existing regulation which supports increased workforce, and use of community resource. The acts aim at improving healthcare through controlling the costs of health coverage, support health disparities research and also measures to address health disparities through employing more healthcare staff, and using the available community resource to provide continued access to quality healthcare (In Kinsey & In Louden, 2013).



Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2017). 2016 national healthcare quality and disparities report. Retrieved from: https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqdr16/2016qdr.pdf

American College of Physician (2009). Controlling Health Care Cost While Promoting the Best Possible Health Outcome. Retrieved from:https://www.acponline.org/acp_policy/policies/controlling_healthcare_costs_2009.pdf

Bhaskaran, S. (2017). Public Health & Wealth in Post-Bankruptcy Detroit.

In Kinsey, P. J., & In Louden, D. (2013). Health, ethnicity, and well-being: An African American perspective.

In Nelson, R., & In Staggers, N. (2014). Health informatics: An interprofessional approach.

National Conference of State Legislatures (2014). State Approaches to Reducing Health Disparities. Retrieved from: http://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/HTML_LargeReports/HealthDisparity_1.htm

Oncology Nursing Society (2012). Health Policy Tool Kit! Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. Retrieved from: https://rehabnurse.org/uploads/membership/hptoolkit12_full.pdf

Porche, D. J. (2012). Health policy: Application for nurses and other healthcare professionals. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Tate, N. J. (2012). Obamacare survival guide: The patient protection and affordable care act and how it affects you and your healthcare.