Healthcare Policies

Mandatory nurse-patient ratios should be passed as a law because of their benefits to both nurses and patient. Adequate nurse staffing levels will help to improve the quality of patient care delivered in hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the country. The number of patients whom a nurse can provide with safe, competent, and quality care depends on the nurse-staffing level (Aiken et al., 2015). Studies have concluded that nurse-staffing levels are a critical determinant of patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and nurse satisfaction (Paul, 2013; Arkin, Lee, McDonald, & Hernandez-Boussard, 2014). Mandated nurse-patient ratios aim at improving the overall working conditions in hospitals (Tevington, 2015). Researchers have shown that California benefited from the law since they had passed it in 2015. According to Aiken et al. (2010), the benefits of embracing mandated nurse-patient ratios include the following:

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• The legislation will enable patients to receive better care. Research has shown that even minimum nurse-patient ratios led to high-quality care and reduced patient mortality (Aiken et al., 2010).

• The legislation improves the staffing level in a variety of ways. For example, the legislation can attract registered nurses specialized in a different field for various job opportunities in a hospital. In addition, it encourages nurses to enhance their expertise (Aiken et al., 2010).

• The legislation encourages nurse retention. Research has shown that where minimum nurse-patient ratios have been implemented, nurses are willing and ready to continue working for a healthcare organization. Nurses are eager to embrace the policies that improve their morale and stimulate performance (Aiken et al., 2010).

• The legislation ensures that nurses are neither overworked nor underworked. Minimum nurse-patient ratios reduce the nurses’ fatigue, hence enable them to provide quality services to their patients at all-times (Aiken et al., 2010).

• The law will ensure that patient needs are catered to and met at all times. The number of patients assigned to a particular nurse is manageable; thus, a patient receives fast and quality healthcare services (Aiken et al., 2010).

My Strategy to Influence Votes

There is a need to be fully aware of the current state of the health care system in order to solve pressing issues. Nurses are the first to be influenced by the healthcare system’s imperfections. Health care workers, as well as the system itself, experience certain problems due to the legislations, politics, and policies that are currently in place (Abood, 2015). The government does not consider the benefits of mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios. The policies fail to recognize the effect of the nurse staffing level on the patients’ health and wellbeing, even despite the fact that there is a correlation between nurse staffing and the quality of healthcare provision. My strategy of influencing votes to pass the law under discussion will be to thoroughly describe and the benefits of mandated nurse-patient ratios and present them to the government and public. In addition, I will outline how the system works and how it has been tested in California. Moreover, I will advocate for the policy and prove why it is important to cater to the nurses’ needs. Nurses are a valuable asset in shaping the future of healthcare policies since they understand the environment they work in and their patients’ needs and demands.

At the local level, I will sensitize registered nurses and community on the benefits of voting for mandated nurse-patient ratios. I will clearly explain the importance of this law and the reasons why I am advocating for its adoption. I will explain to the public why their votes are essential in bringing a positive change to the country’s health care system. I will use relevant research data and statistics to prove that this law is of utmost importance and to persuade the public and the government that their votes hold the power to improve the effectiveness of the health care system. Nurses need to have control over patient care and outcomes instead of being oppressed by policies and regulations that do not value their and patients’ welfare. Nurses as health care professionals have the power to influence legislations and policies to enhance their working environment and the quality of service delivery (McHugh, Kelly, Sloane, & Aiken, 2011). I will use public meetings as the main forum to explain the problem the modern healthcare systems faces due to low nurse-patient ratios. I will highlight the current state of affairs and the existing pressing issues, such as nurses being overworked and the nurses’ inability to provide quality service to their patients due to fatigue (Abood, 2015).

At the state level, I will collaborate with nurses and health care organizations to establish workshops. The primary objective of these workshops will be to explain to the nurses the importance of advocating for mandated nurse-patient ratios in the health care system. I will try to make them realize what benefits they personally will receive from this law. As a result, the nurses will be able to understand why the current trends, policies, and legislations in the health care system need improvement. The forum will also provide an opportunity for discussing this legislation as well as other possible solutions. I will give healthcare practitioners a chance to voice their own propositions and to tell if and why they are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. In the process of this discussion, we will be able to come to a mutual agreement that it is absolutely necessary to implement mandatory nurse-patient ratios.

Furthermore, I will use media to bring attention to the challenges the health sector faces, particularly low staffing. I will then publicly propose a solution – mandated nurse-patient ratios. I will write an article concerning nurse staffing, various issues related to it, and reasons why there is a need for minimum nurse-patient ratios. I will publish the article in different newspapers. I will urge people to see why it is important to vote for the legislation in question.

The use of expert power is another strategy that I will use to convince nurses to vote for the legislation. It is an important source of power that aims at facilitating collaboration. Prominent nurses and healthcare practitioners will speak openly about health care issues in different settings. It will be easier to persuade the public that it is absolutely necessary to adopt the law if people see that famous healthcare experts themselves discuss the issues of nurse shortage and staffing. In addition, the forum will provide all nurses with an opportunity to share their knowledge in nursing, patient safety, and health care, which will help them to realize that the healthcare system is flawed.

Increasing My Power to Influence Votes

My strategy to influence votes will not be successful unless I recruit the help of distinguished personalities in the society. As earlier mentioned, nurses are the only people who can thoroughly explain from personal experience the challenges they face when they ty to administer care. Therefore, nurses are aware that there is need for urgent change. Through awareness creation among nurses and other key stakeholders, I will encourage them to take an active role in advocating for the policy change through exhibitions, staff meeting, and fellowship. I will let them know that this form of advocacy necessitates stepping beyond their own practice setting and going into a less familiar arena of policy and politics. According to Abood (2007), many nurses may not feel free; nevertheless, if they agree to join me in the advocacy process, I will increase my power to influence votes.

In addition, collaboration with organizations such as the American Public Health Association will also help me increase my power to influence votes. Through its members and state and regional affiliates APHA will help me advance my proposal. APAA works with key decision makers in the healthcare sphere. Collaborating with other key stakeholders, such as healthcare legislators and providers, to implement the legislation will further enhance my power to influence votes. According to Abood (2007), reward power is the capacity to give others what they want and ask them to do something in exchange. Alternatively, one may withhold rewards to punish individuals. I will employ this concept to achieve my goal. In a give and take situation in the policy arena, policy makers and legislators both at the federal and state levels are responsible for enacting policy changes. Policy makers and legislators are responsible for designing policies that enhance healthcare through funding, promoting safe work environments, and, more importantly, catering to the needs and demands of employees. Most of the legislators are elected officials and will obviously need the nurses’ votes during the election. Using the nurses’ votes as a reward, I will request policy makers and legislators to enact the mandatory nurse-patient ratios law. I will let legislators know that they will have the support of nurses if they agree to advocate for the proposed legislation.

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