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Develop a letter to the editor of a peer-reviewed academic or professional nursing journal based on the policy proposal that you created for Assessment 2.

Assessment 3 Course8(6026)

Letter to the Editor: Population Health Policy Advocacy

Write a letter to the editor of an academic or professional journal. The length and format of the letter is dictated by your choice of journal.

Note: Each assessment in this course builds on the work you completed in the previous assessment. Therefore, you must complete the assessments in this course in the order in which they are presented.

Advocating for new policies is an important aspect of the master’s-prepared nurse. For new policies to be compelling they need to be supported by evidence. Supporting data can be used to illustrate why new policies and interventions are needed to help address a specific health issue. Compelling data can help sway the stakeholders and gain support for your policy.

Another aspect of advocacy is disseminating new policies and interventions outside of the immediate care environment. This can be done by reaching out to professional organizations as well as academic and professional journals. A letter to the editor is one strategy for disseminating information to a wider audience, and to potentially enlist support throughout the wider professional community.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Design evidence-based advanced nursing care for achieving high-quality population outcomes.
    • Evaluate the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population.
    • Justify why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population.
  • Competency 2: Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of interprofessional interventions in achieving desired population health outcomes.
    • Analyze the ways in which interprofessional aspects of a developed policy will support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population.
  • Competency 3: Analyze population health outcomes in terms of their implications for health policy advocacy.
    • Analyze how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population necessitates health policy development and advocacy.
    • Advocate for policy development in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population.
  • Competency 4: Communicate effectively with diverse audiences, in an appropriate form and style, consistent with organizational, professional, and scholarly standards.
    • Communicate in a professional and persuasive manner, writing content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
    • Integrate relevant sources to support assertions, correctly formatting citations and references using APA style.

Assessment 3 will build upon the work you have done for your previous two assessments. For this assessment, you will be writing a letter to the editor of an academic or professional journal as a means to advocate for adoption or development of policies that will improve the quality of care and outcomes around your chosen health care issue and vulnerable population.

  • Looking at your health care issue from a prevention standpoint, what are the relevant levels of prevention?
    • What would be the benefits and challenges of applying a specific level of prevention to your chosen issue and population?
    • How might one or more approaches to prevention improve the care and outcomes?
      • How could your policy be leveraged, or revised, to support the relevant levels of prevention?
    • What are relevant strategies that you could use to help advocate for the policy you are proposing?
      • How could these strategies help you advocate for your policy proposal?
      • How does evidence from the literature support the benefits of your proposed policy?
        • How does citing evidence help lend credibility to your advocacy?
      • What academic or professional journal would be the best forum to advocate for your policy?
        • Why is your chosen journal an appropriate forum?
        • Which advocacy strategies would be most effective in this forum?
        • How will you craft your message to best appeal to the likely audience of your chosen journal?

Suggested Resources

The resources provided here are optional. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The MSN Program Library Research Guide can help direct your research, and the Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.

Advocacy

Biopsychosocial (Population and Public Health)

Evidence-Based Practice

Letters to the Editor

Pharmacology

Policy

Prevention

Course Resources and Templates

  • Assessment Instructions

Scenario

Throughout this course, you have focused on a specific health issue occurring within a specific population. You researched position papers regarding this health concern, and you developed a health policy proposal to positively impact the health of the affected individuals. It is now time to reach a greater audience regarding your policy proposal.

Instructions

Develop a letter to the editor of a peer-reviewed academic or professional nursing journal based on the policy proposal that you created for Assessment 2. Choose from one of the journals on the Ultimate List of Nursing Journals (in the Resources) and go to that journal’s Web site to find out the requirements for submitting a letter to the editor, such as format requirements, topics, and word counts. Make sure you select a nursing journal that covers the topic about which you are going to write. If you want to use another journal that is not on this list, please make sure the journal does address health care, because this is the purpose of the assessment.

The goal of your letter is to be informative about the policy that you developed for Assessment 2, while also being persuasive about the need for and benefit of similar policies in other health care settings. The bullet points below correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. Be sure that your submission addresses all of them. You may also want to read the Letter to the Editor: Population Health Policy Advocacy Scoring Guide and Guiding Questions: Letter to the Editor: Population Health Policy Advocacy document to better understand how each grading criterion will be assessed.

  • Evaluate the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population.
    • Look back to the data or scenario you used in Assessment 1 to address this criterion.
  • Analyze how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population necessitates health policy development and advocacy.
  • Justify why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population.
  • Advocate for policy development in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population.
  • Analyze the ways in which interprofessional aspects of a developed policy will support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population.
  • Communicate in a professional and persuasive manner, writing content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Integrate relevant sources to support assertions, correctly formatting citations and references using current APA style (or the journal’s preferred style).

Example Assessment: You may use the assessment example, linked in the Assessment Example section of the Resources, to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like.

Additional Requirements

The submission requirements for your editorial will depend on the journal you choose. To find out the requirements, go to the journal’s Web site. There should be a section regarding submissions that will address how to format letters to the editor, and whether there is a word count limit (there usually is a limit).

  • If the journal does not have submission guidelines for the number of resources required, use 3–5 sources.
  • To be sure that your instructor knows the submission and formatting requirements for your letter, include the journal’s guidelines on a separate page at the end of the document you submit for this assessment.

Letter to the Editor: Population Health Policy Advocacy Scoring Guide

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
Evaluate the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Does not explain the current state of the quality of care and outcomes. Explains the current state of the quality of care and outcomes, but the link to the specific issue in a target population is unclear. Evaluates the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Evaluates the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Identifies knowledge gaps, unknowns, missing information, unanswered questions, or areas of uncertainty (where further information could improve the evaluation).
Analyze how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population necessitates health policy development and advocacy. Does not explain how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population necessitates health policy development and advocacy. Explains how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes necessitates health policy development and advocacy, but the link to a specific issue in a target population is unclear. Analyzes how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population necessitates health policy development and advocacy. Analyzes how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population necessitates health policy development and advocacy. Identifies areas of ambiguity or uncertainty where additional information could help to improve clarity.
Justify why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Does not justify why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Provides a weak or flawed justification for why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Justifies why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Justifies why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population. Impartially considers other perspectives.
Advocate for policy development in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population. Does not explain how a policy could be developed in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population. Explains how a policy could be developed in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population, but does not truly advocate or call other to action with regard to developing policy. Advocates for policy development in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population. Advocates for policy development in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population. Acknowledges potential challenges to policy development.
Analyze the ways in which interprofessional aspects of a developed policy will support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population. Does not explain how interprofessional strategies can support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population. Explains how interprofessional strategies can support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population, but does not fully relate this to the developed policy. Analyzes the ways in which interprofessional aspects of a developed policy will support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population. Analyzes the ways in which interprofessional aspects of a developed policy will support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population. Identifies areas of ambiguity or uncertainty where additional information could help to improve clarity.
Communicate in a professional and persuasive manner, writing content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Does not communicate in a way that is clear or persuasive. Communicates in a professional manner, but the approach is somewhat unclear or is not very persuasive. There are mechanical writing errors that reduce the effectiveness of communication. Communicates in a professional and persuasive manner, writing content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Communicates in a professional and persuasive manner, writing content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Identifies specific strategies or approaches used to ensure clear communication.
Integrate relevant sources to support assertions, correctly formatting citations and references. Does not integrate relevant sources to support assertions; does not correctly format citations and references. Sources lack relevance or are poorly integrated, or citations or references are incorrectly formatted. Integrates relevant sources to support assertions, correctly formatting citations and references. Integrates relevant sources to support assertions, correctly formatting citations and references. Citations are free from all errors.

Example Assessment 3

 

Letter to the Editor:

Population Health Policy Advocacy

Current State of Quality of Care for Veterans Affected by Opioid Addiction

Veterans have been affected by the opioid crisis disproportionately. The rates of opioid abuse and misuse among veterans are higher than among civilians. Veterans commonly present with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse disorder. The presence of these behavioral issues in combination with chronic pain is likely to lead to misuse. Individuals may attempt to soothe emotional or psychological pain with opioids, incorrectly associating the physical relief or euphoria that opioids provide with psychological relief (Sullivan & Howe, 2013).

The Necessity of Health Policy Development for Opioid Addiction

Currently, there are policies that deal with maximum dosages and verifying dosage refills through state prescription drug monitoring programs. However, the policy currently being proposed will address the lack of awareness about opioids and opioid addiction. Childers and Arnold even found that many clinicians do not believe they possess the knowledge or the skills required to treat patients with addiction (as cited in Snow & Wynn, 2018).

Improving the Quality of Care in Treating Patients with Opioid Addiction

By adopting policy that requires making active efforts toward raising awareness about the risks associated with opioids, health care organizations would empower individuals with knowledge that could potentially help them and those close to them. Misconceptions about opioid use will be clarified if the public is well-informed. Forming a committee composed of pain management specialists, psychiatrists, and senior nurses to oversee the organization of such programs would ensure that the programs are organized effectively and regularly. At these programs, trained physicians would talk about the risks associated with opioid use and misuse and nurses would describe the symptoms of an overdose and demonstrate correct procedure in such situations. Further, it is important to monitor patients who have been prescribed long-term opioid treatment to ensure that they are not abusing their medication or allowing for it to be diverted or misused. To address this, the policy mandates that individuals who have been prescribed longterm opioids regularly meet with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist would be required to update the attending physician if any potential concerns arose.

How the Policy will Support Achievement of Desired Outcomes

The proposed policy would require significant expenditure to effectively implement programs to raise awareness and educate individuals. Further, it could also be argued that the expenses incurred on the patients’ side would be significant. These arguments raise important concerns on the practical application of the policy being suggested; however, these costs could potentially benefit the patients’ overall well-being as well as result in significant positive social change. Studies by Rydell and Everingham and the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that every dollar spent toward the prevention of drug abuse and treatment would result in significant savings at the national level (as cited in Crowley, Kirshner, Dunn, & Bornstein, 2017).

Policy Development Advocacy

This policy would provide individuals with knowledge that can be applied outside of the hospital setting. At home or among friends, these individuals could save lives because they recognize potentially harmful patterns of behavior and are aware of how to proceed in such contexts. Further, such policy would build trust and garner more positive change in time.

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