An assessment of nurse confidence, perception of individual impact, and view of professional responsibility to influence policy
Chovanak, Lori Anne
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Professional governing organizations call all registered nurses to engage in political advocacy to improve the delivery of care as well as to promote positive change in the health care system. Little is known about the confidence of nurses towards engaging this mandate as well as their attitudes regarding the impact on patient care. This project outlined the impact of educational content in a nurse's confidence level to engage political advocacy, perception of ability to impact health policy, and perception on professional responsibility to engage political advocacy. It includes a literature review on nurse views regarding their ability to address practice and health care issues, explore what inspires nurses to engage in professional advocacy, research nurse' attitudes regarding how political action affects them professionally, and a review of existing research regarding the impact of education on an individual nurse's confidence. Two state nursing associations developed continuing education activities which they provide regularly to nurses with content aimed specifically at increasing participation in political advocacy. The content of these events included information regarding historical political efforts that have advanced the nursing profession, updates of current issues, instruction on legislative process engagement and strategies for success, and information on resources and support that are available for engagement in political advocacy. Participants at these state events were surveyed before and after the educational event to learn if nurses' knowledge, confidence, perceptions, and disposition towards engaging political advocacy increased with receipt of educational content on the topic. The dependent samples t-test demonstrated significant difference (t(47) = -7.99, p < .001 ) between the scores before (M = 80.2, sd = 14.67) and after the intervention (M = 89.9, sd = 14.82) supporting the hypothesis that participant scores would positively change on engaging political advocacy.