NRS 415 Benchmark – Creating Change Through Advocacy

Sample Answer NRS 415 Benchmark – Creating Change Through Advocacy for Included After Question

Assessment Description

The purpose of this assignment is to identify a problem or concern in your organization, local community, or state in which change can occur through advocacy and legislation.

Nurses often become motivated to change aspects within the larger health care system based on their real-world experience. As such, many nurses take on an advocacy role to influence a change in regulations, policies, and laws that govern the larger health care system.

Identify a problem or concern in your organization, local community, or state. Examples of problems relevant to nursing include, but are not limited to, title “nurse” protection, sharps injury prevention, nursing shortage, nurse well-being, valuation of nursing services, etc. Research the issue you selected and use the attached “Creating Change Through Advocacy” template to complete this assignment.

You are required to cite a minimum of three sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice.

While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Benchmark Information 

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies and professional standards: 

RN-BSN

9.4: Comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education

This assignment aligns to AACN Core Competencies 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 4.3, 9.4.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NRS 415 Benchmark – Creating Change Through Advocacy

Title: NRS 415 Benchmark – Creating Change Through Advocacy

Creating Change Through Advocacy

Nurses are advocates for different healthcare stakeholders, from patients to colleagues and professionals in the medical and health sectors. Nurses create change through advocacy by engaging elected representatives at state and federal levels to develop policies and interventions aimed at addressing public health concerns like access to mental health care services for a majority of Americans. Mental health care, especially access to care services for the affected, is a public health concern that requires change through nurse advocacy efforts. By engaging in advocacy, nurses can influence legislation to improve access to mental healthcare services based on existing federal, and in some regions, state legislative policies. These policies are critical to enhancing access to mental and behavioral health services for close to 21% of Americans suffering from some form of mental health disorder (MHA, 2023). The purpose of this paper is to explore nurses’ advocacy activities and efforts to increase access to mental health care for millions of Americans through legislation.

Problem In no more than 250 words, describe the problem, who is affected, and the current ramifications. Explain the consequences if the issue continues.
Mental health is a growing public health concern based on evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other entities that work collaboratively with federal and state health agencies across the United States. The CDC (2023) asserts that over 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness. Further, more than 1 in five youth (13-18 years) either currently or at some point in their life, suffer from a seriously debilitating mental problem. The CDC advances that close to 1 in 23 adults in the U.S. has a long-term serious mental health disorder like bipolar disorder, major depression, dementia, and schizophrenia. The Mental Health America (MHA) notes that about 21% or close to 51 million adults in the country have mental illness. The organization also observes that the vast majority of these individuals suffer from comorbidities; including substance use disorder and opioid use disorder. However, close to three-quarters of those suffering from mental health illnesses do not access treatment. For instance, MHA opines that in 2021, over 15% of adults had a substance use disorder, yet 93.5% never received any form of treatment.  The current ramifications include increased susceptibility of the affected to comorbidities, reduced productivity, and a rise in the cost of healthcare, especially in treating those with chronic mental health disorders. The ramifications also include increased resource allocation, the need for more access to health services, and expansion of facilities to cater to the growing number. The rising number of people with mental health illnesses has serious consequences on public health, if not addressed (Taylor et al. (2023). The implication is that more people will experience worse mental health outcomes leading to devastating effects like suicide, violence, and a general breakdown in public order.  
Idea for Addressing Solution In no more than 250 words, outline your idea for addressing the issue and explain why legislation is the best course for advocacy.
Addressing the issue requires improving access to mental health care services across states and through federal and state funding. The Council of State Governments (2023) mental health should be among the top policy priorities for states. The council notes that mental health, including substance use disorder, are critical priority legislative areas for states to reduce the current prevalence of the problem. According to the council, 9 out of 10 adults in the country believe the country is in a mental health crisis with suicide being ranked as the 12th leading cause of death. In 2020, close to 46,000 deaths were attributed to suicide; an indication of the magnitude of the issue (MHA, 2023). Evidence suggests that expanding access to mental health through resources and expansion of medical health insurance coverage will allow more people to get care services, particularly treatment and recovery. More people are not accessing care due to stigmatization, limited resources like lack of insurance coverage, insufficient mental health personnel, and lack of information. Recent legislative policies and acts demonstrate efforts to increase access to care services. These policies emanate from legislative efforts in Congress; illustrating the core role that legislation plays in advocacy. The COVID-19 pandemic increased and worsened the mental health crisis in the country (MHA, 2023). The current federal administration has enacted three policies to support and educate individuals, groups, families, and communities experiencing mental health problems. These policies raise awareness and lower the stigma related to seeking mental health services. They include the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the STANDUP Act of 2021, and the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. The enactment of these policies demonstrates that legislation is the best course for advocacy to enhance access to mental health care.
Research the Issue Perform research and compile information for your idea. Present substantive evidence-based findings that support your idea for addressing the problem (studies, research, and reports). Include any similar legislation introduced or passed in other states.
Evidence 1In their article, Coombs et al. (2021) identify barriers to mental health care. The authors assert that having effective policies that expand healthcare coverage will ensure that more Americans can access mental health services. The article suggests that reducing the cost of mental health services will incentivize many Americans to seek care services and reduce the stigma associated with the problem.
Evidence 2The brief by the Institute for Health Policy and Leadership (IHPL) (2022) demonstrates that having legislation like the American Rescue Plan Act among others can enhance access to mental health as they mandate state and federal governments to allocate sufficient resources to mental healthcare services. The brief advances that supporting and educating individuals, groups, and families with mental health issues, and raising awareness require effective policy approaches to reduce the problem.
Evidence 3The U.S. Census Bureau (2023) advances that federal health systems and facilities should expand access to mental health care due to the increasing number of cases. The Bureau observes that different factors are contributing to these cases, requiring evidence-based interventions. As such, the Census Bureau recommends changes in existing legislation to expand enrollees and beneficiaries through public health emergency initiatives. A core part of this is the expansion of Medicaid Services to help individuals have coverage to access mental health services.