Journal of Community Health

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 139-155

First online:

Public Policy Involvement by Nurse Practitioners

  • Lorette S. OdenAffiliated withDepartment of Health Education and Promotion, Western Illinois University
  • , James H. PriceAffiliated withCollege of Health and Human Services, University of Toledo
  • , Ruth AltenederAffiliated withMedical College of Ohio
  • , Debra BoardleyAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Rehabilitative Services, University of Toledo
  • , Sunday E. UbokudomAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Toledo

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The purpose of this study was to determine the level and type of public policy involvement, as well as perceptions regarding public policy involvement of nurse practitioners. A four-page survey was mailed to a sample of 600 certified nurse practitioners, randomly selected from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners' database. A three-stage mailing procedure yielded a 73% response rate. Most (59.6%) were involved in three or less public policy activities. The most frequently indicated activities included voting (87%) and giving money to a campaign (57%). Lack of time was the most frequently cited barrier, while improving the health of the public was cited most often as a benefit. Overall, nurse practitioners felt they had limited knowledge on how to go about changing public policy, were somewhat interested in public policy issues, believed the actions of public policymakers were very important, and believed these actions influenced the public's health. The majority (79%) had received some information/education on public policy change. Those most active in public policy had high public policy efficacy expectations and perceived a high number of benefits to public policy involvement.