Background: Nurses play a critical role in providing good health services.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the factors related to the participation of nurses in the provision of health services and the perceived benefits and barriers to their participation in health policy making.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in several hospitals affiliated with the Iran University of Medical Sciences during the first half of 2018 on a sample size of 220 people. A standard, self-management questionnaire was used to collect the data, and SPSS 21.0 software was used for data analysis. None of the demographic characteristics were found to be significantly associated with nurse participation in or the perceived barriers and benefits to health policy making.
Results: The results of this study show that the participants were involved only moderately in health policy making. “Providing written reports on problems or receiving consultation from a related official” was the performance item most frequently
cited by the participants in terms of involvement, whereas “Disappointment in work procedures” was the most frequently cited barrier item affecting involvement. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Despite the importance of the nursing role in health polices, this study indicates that nurses participate at only a moderate level in health policy-making activities. Providing more information to nurses regarding health policies, enhancing nurses’ image of their job and their perceptions about the importance of their participation in the health policy, increasing partnerships with nurses at the upper levels of health services management, and supporting nursing professional organizations in the field of health policy are potential strategies for encouraging greater nursing participation in health policy making.
KEY WORDS: nurse, health policy, participation, barriers, benefits.
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