Nurses influence through engaging in activism act as a drive to health care policy changes enhancing improvement of the quality of care by increasing accessibility of the necessary resources as well as opportunities. Political activism skills are considered essential for the nurses as it enables them to protect the nursing profession as well as their practice (Buck-McFadyen & MacDonnell, 2017). Nurses can serve in elected positions within the state or the national levels to present the broad healthcare aspects of concern and ensure they are integrated within the healthcare policies.
Unionization of nurses is considered to be pertinent as the union offers the nurses the strength and power to bargain on the enforceable contracts such as the acceptable ratio of nurse to patient, their specific roles in maintaining quality of care as well as nurses overtime working hours and pay scale. Besides, joining nursing union provides an opportunity for the nurses to engage in political activism by lobbying private bodies and the government to advocate for policy changes that enhance improved patient care as well as participating in campaigns to create awareness on the importance of nurses thereby improving patient outcome (Ulrich & Kear, 2014). Nursing unions incorporate strategies that not only increase the nurse’s voice in advocating for improved care practices but also encourages nurses’ effective involvement in patient care through making informed decisions thereby creating a workforce culture of safety. One of the Masters of Science in nursing essential is the ability of the nurses to positively influence health policy and advocacy. The masters nursing program ensures that the nurses can effectively integrate nursing concepts at the system level to not only participate in the policy development process but also utilize advocacy strategies to impact change in health care policies.
Unionized nurses refer to nurses who belong in labor organizations that are meant to protect the nurses’ welfare and advocate for the improvement of the healthcare system. Nurses should be provided with the opportunity to join work environment unions at will. Work environment unions range from large national unions to smaller organizations created to address specific issues in specific healthcare facilities (Dube, Kaplan, & Thompson, 2014).
Nurses’ organizations come with the benefits of coming together to address matters relating to healthcare and welfare of nurses such as proper wages, job security, benefits, staffing ratios, and patient rights (Dube, Kaplan, & Thompson, 2014). Nurses account for a significant proportion of any health facility’s budget, which makes them an easy target especially during the economic restructuring. Large budget for nurses often creates workforce shortages and unconventional staffing ratios. Unions can also advocate for motivational benefits such as medical and dental insurance, educational leave, sick pay and vacation. We can, therefore, argue that unions are an essential tool in enhancing the safety of nurses through negotiating for better wages, worker protection benefits, against unfair laying offs and terminations and proper amount of workload for the nurses (Higgins, 2016).
Similar to the nurses’ welfare, unions can be instrumental in advocating for a proper health system that enhances patient care (Giovanetto, 2017). Advocating for proper staffing ratios, for example, advances the interest of patients. Proper staffing ratio is key improving patient outcome because nurses can make proper follow up on patients even after discharge. Benefits such as educational leave also facilitate lifelong learning which is key in strengthening the skills possessed by nurses and hence the quality of healthcare and safety of patients. Nurses’ unions can also engage in advocacy relating patient safety by seeking change in management practices that relate to health care equipment, patient diet, hygiene, and patient rights such as privacy and informed consent (Higgins, 2016). In conclusion, unions provide nurses with enhanced strength in numbers that can be used to advocate for nurses and patient safety.
Response must be minimum 150 words each, doble space, APA(6th) no more than 5 years.
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As an advanced practice nurse, one can engage in activism in order to achieve desired policy change at various levels including their own organization. Examine the following questions, should nurses be unionized and how does being unionized impact a workforce culture of safety? Be sure to include one MSN Essential in your discussion that relates to this topic.