Health Services Research & Development

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Lewinski AA, Simmons LA. Nurse Knowledge and Engagement in Health Policy Making: Findings From a Pilot Study. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 2018 Sep 1; 49(9):407-415.
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Abstract: Although nurses constitute the largest segment of the health care workforce in the United States, their participation in all levels of health policy advocacy remains low. We surveyed practicing nurses on their current knowledge about health policy advocacy, current and desired involvement in health policy advocacy, and desired components in a continuing education program on health policy advocacy. One hundred eighteen nurses responded to the e-mail solicitation, and 84 (71%) of those nurses were eligible. The sample was Caucasian, and the majority were women, aged 45 to 64 years, and registered to vote. Most had obtained an advanced degree and saw patients 25 to 48 hours per week. Respondents reported understanding the differences between health policy and health advocacy. Approximately one third of the nurses reported currently engaging in political/legislative health policy advocacy and patient advocacy. Open-ended responses indicated confusion between patient and political advocacy, suggesting that an easily accessible continuing education program could provide education about different advocacy approaches to help nurses leverage their clinical expertise specifically to influence health policy advocacy. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2018;49(9):407-415.