Political competence entails developing skills to advocate for the health rights of individuals and communities in the nursing profession. Having political competence enables the nurse to care and intervene in the social and economic factors that influence the health of individuals and various communities. This paper discusses how nurses can improve their political competence by keeping themselves current on prevailing public health policy issues.
Nurses are involved in the formulation of public health policies through activism. The activism that is borne of political competence gives the nursing professional the capacity to suggest and influence policies regarding public health in their communities (Shalonda et al., 2019). Health practitioners need to continually seek information regarding the latest happenings in public health to stay current on public health policy knowledge. The legal, political, social, and technological impacts on public health should at all times be known by the nursing professional.
One of the main ways in which a nurse can stay current on public health policies and their impacts on his/her career is by joining a nursing professional body or association. These associations include American Nurses Association, State Nursing Associations, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, National Student Nurses Association, American Red Cross, among others (Harper & Maloney, 2018). The nursing associations provide several opportunities for learning, including conventions, regular publications. and certifications that keep the members informed about the current issues in public health (Harper & Maloney, 2018). Reading health journals and magazines is another method that can be used by nursing professionals to keep abreast with the latest information on public health policies.
The nursing professional should consider enrolling for refresher courses in health administration to add on to the knowledge they have gathered through their experience in the health industry. Keeping up with the latest information on public health policies makes the nurse better prepared to advise clients and the authorities as well (Nilsen, 2016). It also puts them in a better position to come up with suggestions and initiatives that will improve overall public health.
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Nilsen, E. R., Olafsen, A. H., Steinsvåg, A. G., Halvari, H., & Grov, E. K. (2016). Stuck between a rock and a hard place: The work situation for nurses as leaders in municipal health care. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 9, 153-161. doi:dx.doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S100640
Shalonda Estelle, B. H., Todd, A. T., Johnson, K. E., Gaskamp, C. D., Guillet, N., & Murray-Chavez, J. (2019). Public health policy simulation. Journal of Nursing Education, 58(3), 178-181. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20190221-10