Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to envision their own political action plans based on the four spheres of Masonís conceptual framework.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to apply the four stages of Cohen's theory to their own political action plans.
Methods: Using learner-centered teaching principles, a health policy and politics class was taught to 35 graduate nursing students. Assignments included projected political action plans at 1-year and 5-years based on the four spheres from Mason's conceptual framework. Using a qualitative descriptive design, content analysis was done on the activities in the 1-year and 5-year plans using Cohen et al’s (1996) model on the stages of nursing’s political development.
Results: In the 1-year plan most activities were at the “Buy-In” to “Self-Interest” Stages, whereas the 5-year plan indicated stages of “Increasing Political Sophistication” with a few students “Leading the Way.” More politically active students catapulted to higher levels, whereas novice students in the political arena increased to one of the first two stages. Exemplars of projected activities will be presented.
Conclusion: Mason's conceptual framework was effective as an organizational tool for formulating the political action plans. And Cohen’s theory was an effective means of determining the stage of development for the political activities projected by these graduate nursing students. Findings indicate the need for curriculum content in nursing educational programs that not only focus on nursing and health care issues, but on political action plans that can project the student into effectively addressing these issues in today’s world.