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THE ROLE OF THE RN/APRN IN POLICY-MAKING

Word cloud generators have become popular tools for meetings and team-building events. Groups or teams are asked to use these applications to input words they feel best describe their team or their role. A “word cloud” is generated by the application that makes prominent the most-used terms, offering an image of the common thinking among participants of that role.

What types of words would you use to build a nursing word cloud? Empathetic, organized, hard-working, or advocate would all certainly apply. Would you add policy-maker to your list? Do you think it would be a very prominent component of the word cloud?

Nursing has become one of the largest professions in the world, and as such, nurses have the potential to influence policy and politics on a global scale. When nurses influence the politics that improve the delivery of healthcare, they are ultimately advocating for their patients. Hence, policy-making has become an increasingly popular term among nurses as they recognize a moral and professional obligation to be engaged in healthcare legislation.

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In building a nursing word cloud, some key words that can be included are:

1. Compassionate: Nursing is a profession rooted in empathy and compassion towards patients. Nurses provide care and support to individuals during their most vulnerable moments, making compassion an essential attribute for nurses.

2. Skilled: Nurses possess a wide range of technical skills and knowledge to provide quality healthcare. These skills include assessing patients, administering medications, interpreting diagnostic tests, and performing various procedures.

3. Patient-centered: Nurses prioritize the needs and preferences of their patients in their practice. They strive to provide individualized care based on the unique circumstances and goals of each patient.

4. Collaborative: Nursing involves working closely with interdisciplinary teams and healthcare professionals. Nurses establish effective communication and collaboration to ensure coordinated and optimal patient care.

5. Advocate: Nurses serve as advocates for their patients, ensuring that their voices are heard and their rights are respected. They act as a bridge between patients and healthcare systems, promoting patient autonomy and informed decision-making.

6. Professional: Nursing is a highly respected profession that demands integrity, ethics, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Nurses adhere to professional standards and guidelines to deliver safe and evidence-based care.

7. Leadership: Nurses often play leadership roles within healthcare settings, guiding and influencing the delivery of care. They demonstrate leadership qualities such as effective communication, critical thinking, and decision-making.

While policy-maker may not be the most prominent component of the nursing word cloud, it is certainly an important aspect. Nurses have the potential to shape healthcare policy and advocate for changes that positively impact patient care. Their involvement in policy-making can contribute to improvements in healthcare delivery and address any gaps or inequities within the system.

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