Policy formulation is an essential part of advanced nursing practice because policies can define various standards and incorporate them into healthcare practice for the delivery of safe and quality healthcare services (Burke, 2016). The nursing profession is based on the science of caring as well as the focus on human health, and policies facilitate the realization of nursing goals through availability of appropriate standards for human relationships in the nursing environment as well as for effective communications between healthcare professionals and their patients (Burke, 2016). The advanced practice nurse professional can therefore play a crucial role in policy formulation to help shape the quality of care both in the present and in the future. Through policy formulation advanced practice nurses participate in setting the practice standards as well as providing an assurance of healthcare service quality.
Transformational leadership plays a crucial rule in in influencing healthcare policy. Transformational leadership is best described through its four pillars namely, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, and positive role modeling (Riggio, 2014). The principle of inspirational motivation relates to the ability of the advanced practice nurse professional to motivate and inspire others towards advocacy for policy change. The principle of individualized consideration relates to the ability of the advanced practice nurse professionals to demonstrate the concern towards the feelings and needs of their followers in the workplace (Hayati, Charkhabi & Naami, 2014). Advanced practice nurses are nurse leaders and thus best placed to understand the challenges and opportunities in nursing practice; they can influence the policy formulation process towards addressing the needs and feelings of nurses in practice (Xu, 2017). Thirdly, practicing based on positive role modeling implies that advanced practice nurses have to be at the fore front in pushing for policy transformations in order to be influential to others. Finally, the advanced practice nurse illustrates intellectual simulation by challenging creativity and innovation among followers. The performance of these roles results in visible transformation through influence on the policy formulation process both within healthcare organizations and beyond.
Burke, S. A. (2016, Feb 06). Influence through policy: Nurses have a unique role. Reflections on Nursing Leadership. https://www.reflectionsonnursingleadership.org/commentary/more-commentary/Vol42_2_nurses-have-a-unique-role
Hayati, D., Charkhabi, M., & Naami, AZ. (2014). The relationship between transformational leadership and work engagement in governmental hospitals nurses: a survey study. SpringerPlus, 3(25). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3895439/
Riggio, R. E. (2014, Nov 15). The 4 elements of transformational leaders. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201411/the-4-elements-transformational-leaders
Xu, J-H. (2017). Leadership theory in clinical practice. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 155-157. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095771817300944