Part 4: Policy to Practice – Practice to Policy

Nurses know much about access issues, so where does nursing’s responsibility lie in ensuring that this knowledge is included and influential in policy making?

Because nurses “know” about patients and families’ responses to health and social policies, we should be included in health policy decision making and implementation.

Where we need to be, therefore, is in the earliest stage of problem identification and solution framing. It is here that real influence happens. Nurses must be more deeply engaged in understanding influence in policy making.

We also must take account of the “context”, the “process” and the “actors”, both individual and organisations.

Each of these elements can bring your concern to higher attention; observations and data from practice informs policy, policy dictates the focus for new practice initiatives, which in turn inform new policy.