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Civic Engagement and Nursing Education

Gehrke, Pamela M. MS, RN

doi: 10.1097/
Original Article

Significant declines in indicators of civic behavior identify Americans' decreased connectedness to each other, their communities, and participation in the process of government and solving problems together. Universities across the United States are working to revitalize college students' involvement in the processes of democracy. This move to increase students' engagement in their communities and nation has implications for nursing education and the profession. Nurse educators are advised to use experiential learning to teach skills of civic engagement, political advocacy, and policymaking and to be role models and mentors to foster the growth of nurse citizens in the profession.

Department of Nursing, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.

Corresponding Author: Pamela M. Gehrke, MS, RN, Department of Nursing, Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725 (

The author gratefully thanks Jennifer Snow-Gerono, PhD, for her spirit of democratic education and Valeda Greenspan, PhD, RN, for her mentoring and contributions on an early draft of this manuscript.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.