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Political Influence: A Model for Advanced Nursing Education

Maynard, Carleen A. Ph.D., R.N.

Nursing Practice

Involvement in shaping healthcare policy is an expected outcome for the leadership standard of advanced nursing practice as outlined by American Nurses Association's Scope and Standards of Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (1996). From personal experience teaching a healthcare policy course over a 10-year period, the author has found that beginning graduate students are primarily in an apolitical state, reluctant to participate in such activity, and have not considered the ramifications of inactivity for the profession and for healthcare policy. The skills for political influence are an essential component of graduate education to increase awareness of, and foster activity in, the political arena. A model for the development of these skills is presented. The model consists of four interrelated dimensions: information, commitment, initiative, and involvement. Model dimensions are described and made operational through student activity. Ultimately, students move from an apolitical state to a moderate level of involvement. The model has been intended for educational purposes; however, it is applicable for any advanced practice nurse (APN).

CARLEEN A. MAYNARD is Associate Professor of Nursing at The College of St. Scholastica for 16 years, and Coordinator of the CNS track, Graduate Nursing Program. She taught healthcare policy courses for past 10 years. She is active in healthcare policy and serves as Governor appointee to a State Regional Coordinating Board for Health Care in Minnesota.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.