Objectives: To review policy and legislative initiatives in which nursing has played roles and to provide insight into trends and issues that characterize the policy and political agendas in which oncology nurses can play advocacy roles in the new millennium.
Data sources: Professional journals, books, newspapers, news magazines, and internet web sites.
Conclusions: Oncology nurses can offer solutions to the dilemmas posed by fiscal realities, unique American values and expectations, and the complexities of cancer care in the United State's market-based health care system. Oncology nurses must assume roles as health policy specialists.
Implications for nursing practice: For nurses to gain acceptance in health policy arenas, individual nurses and groups of nurses must become expert in assessing the environment, the interpretation of cues, and the development and implementation of realistic strategies targeting priority health policy and legislative issues.