Teaching Students to Become Active in Public Policy


Address correspondence to Patricia A. Thomas, Rhode Island College, Department of Nursing, Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Providence, Rl 02908.


Abstract Nurses as professionals and as individual consumers are affected by health policy and bear a responsibility for participating in the health policy arena. Nursing's growing recognition of the importance of public policy issues is increasingly being translated into action by various groups within the profession. Persuading student nurses of the importance of health policy provides a special challenge to faculty. A clinical practicum was designed that requires senior baccalaureate students in various community settings to identify, analyze, and challenge health policy issues. The course design, integration into the curriculum, and evaluation can be models for faculty considering the challenge of stimulating student interest in health policy issues.