Advocating healthy public policy: implications for baccalaureate nursing education

J Nurs Educ. 2000 Jan;39(1):21-6.


Advocating healthy public policy is increasingly recognized as an essential strategy for enhancing the health of populations. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implications this priority area portends for the educational preparation of public health nurses (PHNs). Population health is central to public health nursing, and as such, it is imperative that PHNs employ policy advocacy strategies to influence positively the determinants that affect the health of populations. In this paper, we introduce the concept of healthy public policy and its relevance for public health nursing and baccalaureate nursing education. We outline substantive content areas that are fundamental to policy advocacy, such as determinants of health and their interrelationships, the policy process, and theoretical frameworks consistent with a socioenvironmental approach to health. In addition, we detail examples of specific learning experiences that provide students with opportunities to apply the content. Some of these activities include analysis of a population health issue, developing a position paper or resolution, writing letters to policy makers and the media, and working with lobbyists and policy makers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Job Description
  • Lobbying*
  • Patient Advocacy*
  • Professional Competence*
  • Public Health Nursing / education*
  • Public Health Nursing / organization & administration*