Health Policy Concept - Why, Who, What, When, Where, and How


Every topic in nursing school has policy implications. Yet placing health policy in a curriculum can be challenging because it is both ubiquitous and invisible. Policy influences almost every facet of the clinical encounter, yet its origin and intent can feel like a distant concern best left to someone else. As a local example, a nurse who is washing their hands before assessing a patient is likely aware of the hospital's policy on handwashing but may not realize how their actions are also guided by professional standards, regulations, and financial incentives. On a larger scale, equitable access to care, such as who can see a nurse practitioner, is also a policy issue. Therefore, nurses must be competent to recognize, analyze, and act upon policies impacting their patients, community, and profession.

The following word document includes prompts of Why, Who, What, When, Where, and How (the 5 Ws and H framework). These prompts are intended to help faculty surface health policy competencies and allow students to connect them with clinical learning and professional development.

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Posted: March 4, 2022
Submitted by:

Health Policy Concept Tool Kit Working Group

Mikki Meadows-Oliver, PhD, New York University
Garrett Chan, PhD, HealthImpact
Nancy Rudner, DrPH, University of Alabama Birmingham
Alex Hoyt, PhD, MGH Institute of Health Professions

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