The question this week, how do we engage the public in the policy process? Kraft and Furlong suggest that increasing technology will enhance public participation through easier access to relevant information. Public participation in the policy process has declined over the past several decades.3 However, individual’s access to information has grown significantly over the same time period. Additionally, according to the U.S census bureau 2010 report, only 60% of individuals of voting age in Arizona were registered to vote and of those, only 45% voted http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0400.pdf. It seems that apathy for the political process may have taken hold. How can we influence change in an environment of indifference?
This week’s topic directly ties into previous discussions regarding change theory, characteristics of innovators and change agents, and sustaining innovative environments as they relate to APRN consensus. We can again look to Kotter’s change model for guidance. 1
- Increase urgency
- Build guiding teams
- Get the vision right
- Communicate for buy-in
- Enable action
- Create short-term wins
- Don’t let up
- Make it stick
Let’s take a look at the first step in Kotter’s change model “increase urgency”. 1 Policy that allows all APRN’s to practice to the full extent of their education and training presents a viable solution to the shortage of healthcare providers. The first step in increasing the urgency should be engaging the APRN. State coalitions such as the Arizona Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Coalition for the Consensus Model http://www.futureofnursingaz.com/practice/aprn-consensus-model/ provide a specific plan to transform nursing to meet the challenge of providing exceptional care in the midst of radical change to healthcare delivery. Additionally, national organizations like the American Nurses Association (ANA) http://www.nursingworld.org/, American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) http://www.aanp.org/. , American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) http://www.aarp.org/ have joined the campaign and provided clear vision of APRN’s practicing to the full extent of their education. These organizations provide clear direction and offer opportunities for interested individuals to join a call to action. Therefore, the importance of participating in professional organizations.
Through healthcare policy changes APRN’s could present a resourceful solution to the shortage of health care providers. 4 Getting the word out to the public is an essential piece to “increasing urgency”. If each APRN were fully engaged in the movement toward APRN consensus, we would have a great force with which to inform the public. A meta-analysis demonstrated a positive causal relationship between social media and participation in civic and political life. 2 If each APRN in practice could provide an active voice toward APRN consensus, formats such as Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, web site’s, or even blogging could present a forum to increase urgency and thus support for APRN consensus.
- Campbell, R. J. (2008). Change management in health care. The Health Care Manager, 27(1), 23-39.
- Boullianne, S. (2015). Social media use and participation: A meta-analysis of current research. Information, Communication, and Society, 18(5), 524-538. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1008542
- Kraft, M. E. & Furlong, S. R. (2015). Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives (5th). Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press.
- Newhouse, R. P., Weiner, J. P., Stanik-Hutt, J., White, K. M., Johantgen, M., Steinwachs, D., … Bass, E. B. (2014). Policy implications for optimizing advanced practice registered nurse use nationally. In K. A. Goudreau, & M. C. Smolenski (Eds.), Health policy and advanced practice nursing: Impact and implications (pp. 29-40). New York, NY: Springer.