How to become a Health Policy Nurse

Liza has been eyeing the Health Policy Nursing Specialization for a while now. She has been a Registered Nurse for several years already and right now, she’s thinking of taking it up a notch through specializing in a field in nursing.

Though this may not be the case with others, she loves research. She likes getting into details and analyzing things, that’s why from the moment she read about Health Policy Nursing, she instantly became intrigued. But how does one exactly become a Health Policy Nurse? Let’s find out.

Health Policy Nurses: Who are they?

Nursing has come a long way. It is now not limited to providing care at the bedside, which is a far cry from what nursing had been several decades ago. Nurses nowadays get to have the chance to merge two of their passions into one, specializing in a field they like and that they think they would be good at. Take the case of health policy nurses, for example.

A health policy nurse is someone who analyzes health and public policies, helping to create a healthier society. Those nurses involved in this specialization can be leaders in advocacy, research, analysis, policy development, implementation and evaluation. They have a deep understanding of how policies can affect patients and the care the patients receive and can work in health services research firms, legislative offices, for healthcare provider associations, or hold elective office.

Specifically, duties of health policy nurses include analyzing healthcare laws, regulations and public policies, devising strategies to advocate policy change and planning and implementing new policies in health.

Additionally, Health policy nurses are able to influence change in public policy by:

  • Coordinating care within a healthcare system
  • Expanding preventive care
  • Helping a healthcare system adapt to an aging population
  • Helping a healthcare system adapt to changes in healthcare
  • Improving healthcare efficiency
  • Improving patient safety
  • Improving the quality of care
  • Increasing access to care
  • Promoting wellness
  • Reducing costs
  • Reducing medical errors

How to become one

Doing research and analyzing even the smallest things might be some of your passions, you might feel like this is just the job made for you, but still you need to follow several steps first before you attain your goal of becoming a Health Policy Nurse.

For an aspirant to become one, you must first enroll in nursing school and your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. After doing such, you then need to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Once you pass the exam, it’s now time to start working as a Registered Nurse and gain as much hospital/clinical experience as you can.

You must then enroll in graduate school and get a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. In addition to coursework, you’ll complete a 10-week health policy residency program in government offices, advocacy organizations, community groups and more.

Higher education is then needed as you will be encouraged to get a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) degree. This degree may be optional, but it is quite helpful if you want to progress in your leadership role as a Health Policy Nurse.

And alas, after rigorously completing the above mentioned steps, you can now become a Health Policy Nurse.


Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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