Journal Title

Journal of Professional Nursing

Publication Date



Aim: The aim was to understand how health policy education is currently being delivered in United States’ graduate nursing programs.

Methods: This exploratory cross-sectional design used an anonymous online survey to target graduate nursing students attending American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) member institutions.

Results: Over 75% of the sample (n=140) reported taking a dedicated health policy course and 71.5% (n=131) of the sample responded that a health policy course was required and an equal distribution among Master’s and Doctoral students. There was no significant difference between type of graduate degree sought and the requirement to take a health policy course (p = 0.37). For students involved in health policy, there was a greater proportion of Master’s students involved at the state level, than Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) or PhD students (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Health policy and advocacy education are important aspects of graduate nursing curriculum and have been integrated into curricula. Graduate nursing students at all levels reported that health policy AACN Essential competencies are being included in their program, either as stand-alone health policy courses or integrated health policy learning activities during matriculation.

Author Supplied Keywords

health policy and advocacy engagement, graduate nursing education


Nursing--Study and teaching; Medical policy--Study and teaching; Nursing schools--Curricula

Publication Information

Archived version is the accepted manuscript.





Document Type

Journal Article

Available for download on Friday, April 08, 2022