Healthcare policy can be a difficult part of legislation, particularly when legislators seem out of touch with the realities of working in healthcare. That’s why more and more nurses are getting involved in healthcare policy and law—it offers the chance to make the industry better for workers and, as a result, improve outcomes for patients.
Undoubtedly, health policy in Hawaii has excelled in many areas. In 2015, Hawaii was named the healthiest state in the United States for the fourth year in a row (Becker’s Hospital Review, 2015). This is due to policies that prevent and combat obesity and heart disease. The state also has a high percentage of insured residents and a high physician-to-patient ratio.
The creation of health policies is an essential part of improving the field of nursing. If you are ready to explore graduate education in nursing and step into the world of legislation, contact graduate nursing programs in healthcare policy in Hawaii.
Completing a Master's degree in healthcare policy in Hawaii is the first step to leaving your mark on the world of healthcare legislation in this state. Although many nursing degrees require approximately 30 credits, health policy degrees tend to require more than 40 credits.This may involve spending five or six semesters in school.
To meet the credit hour and training requirements of your school, you may enroll in high-level healthcare policy courses like those listed below:
- Health Policy, Politics, and Law
- Ethics in Healthcare Policy
- Contemporary Issues in Healthcare Policy
- Community Health Analysis
- Health Program Assessment
Health policy is a large and multifaceted specialty in nursing, so course requirements and learning goals differ quite a bit from school to school. Examine the learning outcomes for each school you are interested in to find one that fits in with your career goals.
Upon graduation, you may be expected to demonstrate competency in the following areas:
- Develop policies for improvement of healthcare system
- Properly use legal language and terminology
- Collaborate with healthcare providers at different levels
- Use experience, knowledge, and research to inform decisions
Remember that your nursing experience is what may set you apart from other voices in the legislative sector. To keep that edge, you must keep working as a nurse. Through the Hawaii Department of Professional and Vocational Licensing, you can renew your license by June 30 in every odd-numbered year.
Completing an internship is required at most Hawaii colleges. Whether you are assigned to a public, private, or nonprofit organization, building connections and learning how to present yourself as a policy expert are two huge benefits you may enjoy.
When you begin your career in healthcare policy, you may need to establish yourself as a local leader before your voice is truly heard. You make it started at local clinics and hospitals. However, as you become known for the lobbying and policy work you do, you may qualify for positions at state and federal agencies. For example, the Hawaii Healthcare Transformation Initiative uses legislation as one of its primary tools in the goal to make Hawaii healthy.
As a nurse, it is important to stay involved with groups like the Hawaii Center for Nursing. Nursing associations maintain a strong political presence, and aligning your interests with theirs may help you and them find more success and growth in the healthcare industry.
In 2015, areas of legislative focus in Hawaii nursing included the designation of rural hospitals, the allocation of federal healthcare funds, and the standards that establish primary care shortage areas.
The policies made in coming years may influence the nursing community for decades to come. Create a bright future for Hawaii nurses and contact graduate healthcare policy programs in Hawaii.