During the latter half of the nineteenth century, as the demand for nurses increased, nursing began to take on the basic attributes of a profession. Two significant professional groups for nurses were formed in the 1890s: the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses, which was subsequently called the National League of Nursing Education, and the Associated Alumnae of the United States, which was later renamed the American Nurses Association. Others, such as the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and the National Organization for Public Health Nursing, were established in the early twentieth century. Similarly, state nurses’ organizations were essential in the passage of state nurse certification legislation, which governed and established an accreditation structure for nursing practice. The subsequent passing of nurse registration statutes, which was recognized as notable legislative triumph at a period when women had little political influence, also supplied nurses with their contemporary legal title, registered professional nurses, which they have retained to this day (D’Antonio, et al., 2010).
Even though these improvements enhanced and transformed many areas of the nursing training system, issues continued to exist. Until the mid-twentieth century, American professional nursing displayed strong racial segregation, which reflected the socioeconomic and legislative standing of African Americans at the time. African American persons wishing to pursue a career in nursing were had to go through a separate school system and compete in a divided labor market in which white and black nurses were not treated equally. Nursing, like many other professions, has remained a primarily female field. While a few schools welcomed males, the vast majority of institutions refused to admit them (Whelan, 2013).
Today’s culture allows any nurse to have an impact on policy and politics at all levels, including at the municipal, state, and federal levels. Nurses may become politically involved on a regional level by taking on leadership roles in the health sector or by approaching elected authorities about legislation that affects their profession. nurses may pursue formal political training, participate in municipal councils and committees, and even compete for elected positions in their communities. It is also possible that something as basic as exercising one’s right to vote may have an influence on healthcare policy. Nurses may get active in policy and politics at the state and federal levels by becoming a member of a professional nursing organization. These organizations often employ lobbyists who advocate for nursing concerns on Capitol Hill. Nurses may also write to their state legislators to express their concerns about healthcare policy. Nurses may participate in internships with political leaders to get first-hand experience working on issues impacting the healthcare industry. Nurses may also run for public office; in fact, there are now two nurses sitting in the Florida State Assembly (Brokaw, 2016).
As healthcare reform moves forward, the job of the nurse will become more critical. Public health nurses’ relevance to the public health system and the communities they support may be shown by policy changes that include all aspects at all levels of care, including those of single patients, households, and whole communities. Now, more than ever, the field of nursing is in desperate need of remarkable leadership in order to give direction, enhance population health, and define a sustainable future for the profession (Kub, et, al., 2015).
One nursing professional that inspires me and advocates for the profession is my mentor. He is always involved in decision making and policy making that takes place within the organization. He is extremely educated in legislative area of nursing and always has an answer when regulatory questions arise. I believe that as nurses we must be aware of regulations and how they affect us as well as to fight to promote what we feel is right and will enhance our profession.