Authors: Dale Mueller
Abstract: The Political Astuteness Inventory (PAI) was used in an undergraduate RN to BSN health policy course to determine student knowledge and civic skills. Based on models from the field of political science, adults acquire civic skills in many ways throughout life so having knowledge of student skill levels can inform appropriate instructional activities. The nursing literature emphasizes the role of the RN as patient advocate, although the definition and implementations are imprecise. This study using the PAI identifies skills that can be infused into curriculum for maximum efficacy as political influencers. A pre-test/post-test survey design was used (n=101). Only the pre-test has been completed at the time of this paper; the post-test results and comparisons will be examined at a later time. Pre-test findings indicated that most students are aware of health care policy issues but only a small percentage participate to effect change such as serving as a resource to professional organizations or elected officials. Conclusions to be drawn include the necessity of including hands-on learning about political processes as part of the curriculum.
Keywords: advocacy, health policy, PAI