NUR 550 Identify two major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United States (may be state or federal)

NUR 550 Identify two major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United States (may be state or federal)

NUR 550 Identify two major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United States (may be state or federal)

The two main policy issues affecting the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the country are nursing shortage and emergence of infectious diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other public health concerns. These policy issues imply that more resources should be deployed to meet improve care delivery. For instance, nursing shortage is a serious policy issue as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (2022) show that more than 275,000 nurses would be required each year through 2020 to 2030. The agency also projects more employment opportunities for nurses by close to 10% because of the increased care demand, retiring population, and nurse turnover rates as well as nurses changing their professional approach. The emergence of infectious diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic implies that policymakers should develop high levels of preparedness and allocate sufficient resources to mitigate the healthcare sector from being overrun as witnessed at the height of the pandemic (Shahzad et al., 2019). The situation demonstrated increased levels of disparities that impact health equity as low-income and racial minority populations were the most affected due to limited access to healthcare resources.

These population health policies and initiatives affect the advanced nursing practice as they imply that these nurses should assume more specialized roles to meet the diverse care demands (Williams et al., 2018). The nursing shortage means that nurses take on more duties and roles, work for longer hours, and deal with patients from diverse backgrounds (Daniel et al., 2018). The initiatives also imply that nurses should participate in public health programs to prepare populations against epidemics and pandemics. The implication is that as policymakers, advanced practice nurses should implement initiatives that focus on increasing access to care and reducing the existing inequities and disparities, especially among low-income households and racial minorities.


Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (2022). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Registered Nurses.

Daniel, H., Bornstein, S. S., Kane, G. C., & Health and Public Policy Committee of the

American College of Physicians. (2018). Addressing social determinants to improve patient care and promote health equity: An American College of Physicians position paper. Annals of internal medicine, 168(8), 577-578.

Shahzad, M., Upshur, R., Donnelly, P., Bharmal, A., Wei, X., Feng, P., & Brown, A. D. (2019).

A population-based approach to integrated healthcare delivery: a scoping review of clinical care and public health collaboration. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-15. DOI:

Williams, S. D., Phillips, J. M & Koyama, K. (2018). Nurse advocacy: Adopting a health in all

policies approach. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(3), 1-12. DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No03Man01

Click here to ORDER an A++ paper from our Verified MASTERS and DOCTORATE WRITERS NUR 550 Identify two major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United States (may be state or federal):

One major policy issues affecting the current state of health care delivery and population health equity is immunization. Vaccination continues to be one of the most powerful and cost-effective disease-prevention tools among populations (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 2022). Individuals get diseases that vaccines can prevent which is why it’s important to promote vaccination acceptance. Vaccination also lowers the risk of outbreaks in communities. For instance, the influenza vaccine has prevented about 7.5 million illnesses during the 2019-2020 season (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 2022). Advanced practice nurses advocate for immunizations to prevent communicable diseases. Depending on the roles that they hold as advanced practice nurses, they can educate the population, administer and prescribe immunization to decrease the likelihood of contracting infectious diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. 

Another major policy issue is the mental health policy. According to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) (2022), “an estimated one in five U.S. adults has a mental illness, and in recent years significantly more youth have reported mental health challenges.” In order to promote mental well-being ad wellness, there needs to be an increased access to affordable mental health services. When it comes to the youth with mental illness, many of them do not even receive mental heath services, therefore, state legislatures continue to seek to improve access to mental health services (ASTHO, 2022). Perhaps, early detection of mental heath conditions is also another challenge as clinical symptoms can often be overlooked. Everyone with mental illness deserves treatment and should have equal access to the services that they need for better prognosis. As an advanced nursing practice nurse, it’s important to interact with these individuals with respect to preserve their well-being and dignity. Having more advanced practice nurses increases access to providers that can treat individuals suffering from mental health conditions. 


Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (2022). ASTHO Unveils Top 10 Public Health Policy Issues to Watch in 2023.

Regarding the issue of immunization, the implications of policies promoting vaccination for disparate populations are significant. Disparate populations, such as those with low incomes, those living in rural or remote areas, and minority groups, may face barriers to accessing healthcare services, including immunizations. Policies that address these barriers, such as providing free or low-cost vaccinations at community clinics or outreach programs, can help to ensure that these populations have equal access to preventative care.

Additionally, policies that promote vaccination acceptance can also benefit disparate populations by addressing vaccine hesitancy, a phenomenon that may be more prevalent in certain communities. Such policies may involve education campaigns that address misconceptions about vaccines, as well as culturally sensitive approaches to communicating the importance of vaccination.

With regard to mental health policy, policies that aim to improve access to mental health services can have significant implications for disparate populations as well. People in low-income communities or rural areas may face challenges in accessing mental health services due to a lack of providers or limited insurance coverage. Policies that expand mental health coverage, promote telehealth services, or increase funding for mental health services in underserved areas can help to address these disparities.

In addition, policies that aim to increase early detection and intervention for mental health conditions can also benefit disparate populations. Mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, maybe stigmatized or overlooked in certain communities, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Policies that promote mental health awareness and early intervention, as well as training for healthcare providers on culturally sensitive approaches to mental health care, can help to address these disparities.

Overall, policies that consider the unique needs and challenges faced by disparate populations can help to promote health equity and improve health outcomes for all individuals, including those who may face barriers to accessing healthcare services. Advanced practice nurses play a crucial role in advocating for and implementing these policies, as well as in providing culturally sensitive care to diverse patient populations.

One major policy issue related to population health in Texas, as well as nationwide, is the opioid epidemic. To reduce the amount of deaths and dependencies on opioids, Texas has created the Texas Targeted Opioid Response TTOT), whose mission is to save lives and provide support to Texans who suffer from opioid dependency (Texas Health and Humas Services, n.d.). The TTOR has worked to provide access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those with opioid dependence. This policy impacts nursing practice by limiting the amount of opioid medications patients can be given, and nurses may need to be aware of alternative therapies that help improve pain control and decrease the inappropriate use of opioid medications. Nurses must also find a balance when treating those with known opioid addiction to ensure they minimize suffering for their patients, but do not contribute further to their addiction. nurses must also provide education and resources to patients on how to properly use opioid medications, recognize the signs of overuse and possible dependence, and how to seek help when needed.

Another example of the policy affecting the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United states is the expanded access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), which promotes lifestyle changes to prevent type 2 diabetes. This program encourages providers to screen patients for abnormal blood glucose who are at risk for development of type 2 diabetes, and refer them to the national diabetes prevention program for information on lifestyle changes and disease prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022). As with the opioid epidemic, nurses will encounter patients at risk for development of type 2 diabetes as well. The NDPP recommends screening patients at high risk and providing education on prevention and lifestyle changes, which will be the responsibility of the nurse caring for these patients. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, March). Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Texas Health and Humas Services. (n.d.). Texas Targeted Opioid Response. Retrieved from Texas Health and Human Services:

Two major policies that affect the current state of health care delivery are Affordable Care Act (ACA) that changed the face of U.S. health service by shifting reimbursement fee for service to value based at the top of the pyramid and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act Nurse researchers are also building evidence to address human resources issues that impact health service delivery. Evidence is critical for planning educational needs. We must be able to predict how many nurse educators and the competencies nurses will need to address the variety of patient problems and the type of nursing services that will be needed as health care reform and care delivery models continue to evolve so that they will result in high-quality, efficient, cost-effective care (Tullai-McGuinness, 2017).

Additional legislation affecting health service delivery includes the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, and the subsequent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which promoted the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology and addressed privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transfer of information (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016) (Tullai-McGuinness, 2017).

Enabling laws give regulatory agencies, the power to create rules and regulations. APRNs should assist in maintaining a collegial relationship between their state professional organizations and the board of nursing. Most appointments to state boards are made by the governor and necessitate the support of legislators and professional organizations (DeNisco, 2019).


DeNisco, S. M. (2019). <i>Advanced practice nursing</i> (4th ed.). Jones &amp; Bartlett Learning.

Tullai-McGuinness, S., & Reimer, A. P. (2017). Health policy and health services delivery. In J. Fitzpatrick (Ed.), Encyclopedia of nursing research (4th ed.). Springer Publishing Company. Credo Reference:

Two major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity are nursing shortages and safety of the nursing workplace environment.  While the reasons for nursing shortages can change over time there are consistent factors such as lack of nursing faculty and working conditions (DeNisco, 2021).  Nursing faculty are most often master’s degree educated nurses but can have a bachelor’s degree.  While more nurses are seeking higher education the number of those nurses compared to all nurses is a small percentage.  That small percentage are often advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) and pulling them from caring for patients to educate the new nursing workforce can become a catch 22.  

Safety in the nursing workplace environment is of paramount importance to keep the nursing workforce safe and healthy.  One of the big issues dealing with the safety of the nurse workplace environment is exposure to blood and bodily fluids (ANA, n.d.).  Without proper policies, procedures, and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) nurses are unable to keep themselves safe while caring for others.  APRNs need to be aware of their surroundings when caring for patients and make sure to use PPE appropriately to keep themselves safe.  


American Nurses Association.  (n.d.). Health and Safety.  American Nurses Association.

DeNisco, S. M. (Ed.). (2021). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN-13: 9781284176124

There are two major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery. These are policy on mental health and affordable care for the United States population. Mental health care has been an issue for the United States population. In many cases the population that is in desperate need of this kind of care has not been able to access it effectively. According to Policy Issues (n.d.), the goal is to “increase access to treatment; improve quality of treatment; and reduce incarceration, homelessness, and discrimination”. These are the factors that affect the population of health equity. Not all people are treated the same or are allotted the same opportunities to get the treatment they need. Another policy issue is the affordability of health care. This too is an issue of population health equity. Many United States families and individuals cannot afford to get health care. This effects the health care delivery system because there is a margin of the population that do not have the same access to care as others. According to 5 current issues in health care (2022), 45% or more American families report that affording health care is difficult. Along with that more than 40% of American families report having medical debt (5 current issues in health care, 2022). This impacts advanced nursing practice because there is a larger responsible to address these policy issues in order to improve health care. Advanced nursing practice can use the knowledge and ability to make change and improve policy and initiatives.


5 current issues in health care and what administrators can do: Regis. Regis College Online. (2022, October 23). Retrieved March 18, 2023, from 

Policy issues. Mental Health America. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2023, from 

Health and health care disparities are difference in health and healthcare between different types of groups from broader inequities (Ndugga & Artiga, 2021). Healthy people define health disparities as health difference linked with social, economic, and environment disadvantages (Ndugga & Artiga, 2021). Whereas, the CDC defines health disparities as a disparity that refers to differences in health insurance, assess to and use of care, and the wulity of care being given (Ndugga & Artiga, 2021).

             Two major policies set that affect the current state of health care is the Affordable Care Act and the reform of Medicaid that impact African Americans. The affordable health care act was set forward to expand insurance health coverage to larger groups of people. The issue is despite the gains the policy held, people of color, and the low income are still at risk of being uninsured which leads to many barriers to accessing healthcare (Ndugga & Artiga, 2021). Not only being unsured the population have a risk of decreased quality of care. Despite the gains in the Affordable Care Act one of the challenges is the lack of Medicaid in key states, health disparities, and healthcare coverage shortages make it extremely difficult to address the healthcare needs (Taylor, 2019). The Medicaid programs have been important for low-income Americans, pregnant women, elderly, and individuals with disabilities (Taylor, 2019). Therefore, the lack of Medicaid can affect this populations in getting adequate healthcare.

             Advanced practice nurse has an important role in population health policies by not letting them affect the way healthcare is delivery. According to DeNisco (2021) APRNs will have an important role in influencing healthcare reform, promotion of global health, and the protection of professions. It will be important as an APRN to continue to influence polices by being proactive to solutions in healthcare rather than lamenting the problems (DeNisco, 2021). Advanced Nurses need to continue to use their voice to make change in policies to better quality of care.

DeNisco, S. M. (Ed.). (2021). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN-13: 9781284176124

Ndugga, N. & Artiga, S. (2021). Disparities in Health and Health Care: 5 Key Questions and Answers. KFF.

Taylor, J. (2019). Americans. The Century Foundation.

The policies that you mentioned are both policies that have caused issues in healthcare delivery. The affordable care act had a goal to improve health care access for all. Although that has been the goal there is still a portion of the population that is left uninsured. This is a bigger problem that will need to be addressed in order to improve the policies. The population that is seen to have the most issues regarding this is people of color and those that are low income, as you mentioned. In order for the this policy to be improved, the most common barriers need to be address. When this is done then health equity can be achieved. The other policy that you mentioned regarding medicare has great impact on the population as well. If those who need the service of Medicaid cannot get it then that greatly impacts the delivery of care for the population. Lastly, advanced practice nurses can make a great difference by using their knowledge, experience, expertise, and influence to change the way that policies are made and changed (DeNisco, 2021). Advanced practices nurses have a larger responsibility to try to improve the way that health care is delivered and the quality that is given. Thank you for your post.


DeNisco, S. M. (Ed.). (2021). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN-13: 9781284176124