1. Hawkins, Janice PhD, RN, CNS-BC
  2. Tremblay, Beth MSN, RN

Article Content

Nurses are advocates for the communities they serve. Developing a health care workforce ready to engage in public policy advocacy is fundamental to nursing practice and essential to addressing health disparities of vulnerable populations. To connect advocacy to real-world problems, we partnered with a nonprofit organization to create experiential learning opportunities in an undergraduate community health course. Nonprofits, including professional nursing organizations, are often engaged in public policy issues that align with their mission. To assist members in navigating the political system and mobilizing toward a common goal, many organizations provide an advocacy toolkit with instructions for common advocacy actions such as emailing or calling congress members, scheduling meetings with congress members, using social media for advocacy, and writing letters to the editor.1 The toolkits provide talking points and sample templates. Specifically, we partner with the UN Foundation Shot@Life Campaign. Shot@Life's mission is to reduce the incidence of childhood deaths by promoting global access to lifesaving vaccines. Using the Shot@Life advocacy training program and toolkit, students learn multiple methods to communicate with policymakers to advocate for global vaccine programs. Advocacy activities are demonstrated experientially within the classroom setting and then expanded outside of class to include mentored meetings with their representatives' local offices.




1. ANA Advocacy Toolkit. American Nurses Association. 2018. Accessed March 5, 2021. [Context Link]