DQ: Chapter 14 in the textbook, Leadership in Nursing Practice: Changing the Landscape of Health Care, discusses the nursing profession’s lack of representation in health care policymaking, even though nurses currently represent the largest profession within the health care industry

NUR 514 Topic 4 Discussion 2

DQ Chapter 14 in the textbook, Leadership in Nursing Practice Changing the Landscape of Health Care, discusses the nursing professions lack of representation in health care policymaking, even though nurses currently represent the largest profession within the health care industry

Organizations such as the American Nurses Association have goals of bettering health care practice and standards and also a goal of representing nurses and supporting them in the profession. Professional nursing organizations want to make the environment for the professionals good in turn helping to make the patient care/ outcomes good. Professional nursing organizations are responsible for the development and certification of nurses interested in improving health care and providing safe quality nursing care. Through participation in professional organizations, nurses can actively contribute to legislative changes that can affect patient care and the way they conduct their work (Helbig 2018). Nursing organizations advocate for nursing practice through publicly and legislatively outlined rules and regulations that depict standards of practice, this helps nurses have a written guideline for their profession, it helps to outline the directive of what is ok to do as a nurse. In turn this protects the nurse and advocates for the nurse as well as keeps the nurse in the educated and in the know so they can protect their license by practicing within their scope. The standards of practice describe a competent level of nursing practice demonstrated by the critical-thinking model known as the nursing process (Bickford, Marion, & Gazaway, 2015). ANA is an organization that supports the nurse, they have the goal in advocating for the nurse and raising awareness to problems that are being faced in the nursing profession. Organizations like The International Council of Nurses realize that nurses are front line with patients and understand that they are leaders in the medical field, they spend a vast amount of time at the bedside with abilities to collect real time data, they are educators as well as administrators. This gives nurses a lot of power and legislators look to nurses as leaders to help with policy. Being at the bedside gives the nurse the unique ability to report back to policy makers about what is working and what is not working in lieu of patient safety and patient centered care. “The International Council of Nurses is a federation of national nursing associations that works to enable nurses to speak with one voice so as to influence health policy and advance the profession of nursing” (Benton, 2012). Safe staffing, nursing workforce development (pushing nurses to obtain higher levels of education such as a BSN) and safe patient handling have been topics that the ANA has advocated for in the nursing arena as well as many more areas, these relate directly back to overall bettering the environment in order to create overall better patient outcomes.

Gender inequality within the nursing profession is alive and well, unfortunately. Nursing is one of the oldest practices in history but women within the nursing profession have been viewed in “subordinating, passive, and secondary roles” (Werber, Porter-OGrady, Mangold, & Malloch, 2019, p. 522). Public insights that nursing is a female-orientated role have been a major factor in the low numbers of men in the nursing field. The challenge to change this thought process consists of negative stereotypes, nursing being viewed as traditionally female profession and perception of other professions as more male appropriate. Male nurses move towards areas such as the operating room and emergency care and this may be due to support from male physicians or the male nurse feeling more comfortable in a less caring environment. This may be because society as a whole views nursing as women’s work because it is a caring profession. There are still many patients, both male and female, who prefer a female nurse.

Male nurses are reportedly higher paid and move directly into middle and upper remuneration brackets faster than their female counterparts. Another gender inequality is the unequal power balance between physicians and nurses which has resulted in nurses keeping their voices silent while in the workplace (Weber, Porter-OGrady, Mangold, & Malloch, 2019).

There tends to be a stereotype in health care, where the physicians are viewed as leaders and nurses are handmaidens carrying out their orders. Another stereotype is that of a male nursing being viewed as less masculine, as the media portrays the male nurse in the move “Meet the Parents”, and a physician is portrayed as confident and masculine. Such stereotyping has led to poor recruitment of males into nursing (Englung, 2018).

The American Nurses Association published a study, having surveyed African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, and

NUR 514 Topic 4 Discussion 2
NUR 514 Topic 4 Discussion 2

Caucasian nurses. They survey found minority nurses experience barriers to their progress in nursing (Englund, 2018). Race also plays a role in nurses’ salaries, not only in the United States but many countries around the world. Another group that experiences gender inequality is the nurse that falls within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. It is important to foster trust, respect, openness, and positive attitude to ensure this gender inequality is eradicated.


Englund, H. (2018). Relationship between marginality and minority status in undergraduate nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 57(6), 339-346. Doi:

Weberg, D., Porter-O’Grady, T., Mangold, K., & Malloch, K. (2019). Leadership in nursing practice: Changing the landscape of health care (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.


I agree with you that despite having many women nurses, the leadership roles in the profession are taken by men. It has limited the female nurse’s ability to bring about meaningful changes especially at the top management level and policy-making. Female nurses’ roles are restricted to care and this has had effect on the female nurse’s pursuit for further education. However, with the rise of the gender equality movements, especially the women empowerment programs and advocacy, nurses have been encouraged to actively agitate for their inclusion in the policy making process and running of the healthcare organizations (Ens et al., 2018). Transformation in healthcare leadership is a gradual process and in the recent years the number of nurses hired to top management levels has been increasing and this is a positive indicator that healthcare systems too are ready for the full implementation of the gender equality. Women nurse leaders have proved to be equally competent and able to transform healthcare systems in adoption of new care practices that promote quality care and patient satisfaction (Andrews, 2020).

Click here to ORDER an A++ paper from our MASTERS and DOCTORATE WRITERS: DQ: Chapter 14 in the textbook, Leadership in Nursing Practice: Changing the Landscape of Health Care, discusses the nursing profession’s lack of representation in health care policymaking, even though nurses currently represent the largest profession within the health care industry


Andrews, J. (2020). Perspectives: Courage in nursing leadership and innovation. Journal of Research in Nursing, 25(3), 308–311.

Ens, B., Bazylewski, S., & Duchscher, J. B. (2018, June 30). Emerging Nursing Leadership Issues.; University of Regina Press.

The medical profession has a more dominant voice when it comes to influencing health-related policymaking over nursing, even though nurses represent the largest number of healthcare professionals (Catallo et al., 2014). Most nurses are female. One article stated 68% of physicians are male, while 90% of registered nurses are female. Nurse’s work can be devalued or seen as less important because nursing is viewed as a feminine and nurturing profession, which can be misleading. Nursing is based on skills, knowledge, science, and expertise.

Personally, I can see there is a correlation between the fact that females make up the largest percentage of the nursing profession and lack of representation in health care policymaking.

Gender role norms have contributed to nurses being silent due to nursing being a female-dominated occupation (Nitzky, 2018). “Gender inequities within the health system reflect gender inequity within society. Women’s work is often seen as less important or worthwhile, and their role has health workers is no exception” (Aurora et al., 2018, para. 6).

According to Porter-O’Grady & Malloch, (2018), “as equity has become more apparent in women’s broader role expectations, education, opportunities, performance factors, pay and position in society, these changes have likewise been reflected in the nurse’s role” (p.523).

Nurses do not engage in health policy, political participation, or political activism as much as they should.

Regardless of gender, nurses need to be more involved in policymaking. Nurses have a better understanding of how policies can affect patients and the care they receive; they have limitless expertise about the healthcare needs of both patients and communities and should lead the way in setting health policy priorities (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ,2014).