Creating Legislation and Health Policy: Incorporating EBP into a Professional Development Course

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 10:30 AM
Rojann R. Alpers, PhD, RN , Arizona State University College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, Phoenix, AZ

Learning Objective 1: 1. The learner will be able to evaluate a legislative assignment to engage students in critical thinking, the legislative process and utilization of EBP.

Learning Objective 2: 2. The learner will be able to create a learning assignment that appeals to the millennial learner and incorporates EBP, technology and health policy development.

Senior nursing students are in the final throes of investigating their roles in professional nursing and learning about the socio-political process in their senior professional development course. As a capstone project, students are asked to work in groups (their clinical learning communities) and identify a healthcare (e.g. immunizations, helmet use), vulnerable population (e.g. homeless men, domestic violence victims, etc.) or professional practice (e.g. nursing externs, prescriptive authority, etc.) issue and develop a ‘white paper' outlining the issue, the literature support (EBP format), and the current state of legislation/lack of legislation on that issue.

Following this selection of the policy issue and a literature (EBP) review, students then identify key legislators to contact and work with (lobby) to develop a legislative ‘bill' for consideration. The students must utilize the ‘bill writing' format used by state legislators: which includes: a) statement of action; b) rationale for action; c)literature/expert support for the action and, d) formal statement of the requested action THE BILL). Then the adventure begins, actually trying to get their ‘idea to a bill'.

This is a semester-long process of critical thinking, refining their writing skills and learning and working within the legislative process. The final project is presented using technology-rich-multi-media strategies (they must use at least three different strategies to present their group project), and include a description of the entire health policy legislative process (from ‘idea' to ‘bill), and document and describe the group's efforts, actions, challenges, triumphs and lesson learned. This presentation will share the legislative process/health policy insights, surprises and disappointments, effects of an EBP approach, student successes, new legislative activities from these projects and student, faculty and legislative feedback.