Practicum and Policy Background


NUR 654 Public Policy Strategies for Nursing
Legislative Practicum Paper (35%) and Legislative Initiative Plan (30%)

The Legislative Practicum Paper and the Legislative Initiative Plan culminate in one written assignment submitted to faculty at the end of the semester. This paper reflects not only your 9-hour practicum experience and the public/health policy initiative identified by the elected official (Section One), but also the legislative initiative plan developed to help advance the elected official’s policy initiative (Section Two) and nursing’s role/implications in this process (Section Three).
Each student will select an elected official and will volunteer for no less than 9 hours for that individual. (An Internet search of the Supervisor of Elections for your county will give you the names and offices held of elected officials in your voting district. Remember that school board members, judges, police officials, and city officials also serve in an elected capacity.) You may or may not actually meet your elected official (especially if you select the President, Vice President, U.S. Congressman or Senator), but volunteering in their local or district office will acquaint you with their key people and issues. You may be asked to show your Barry ID or for a letter confirming your student status. I will be glad to provide any documentation or verbal confirmation necessary to facilitate securing your practicum placement.

SECTION ONE: Practicum and Policy Background

During your volunteer time, you will identify a public policy initiative important to the elected official that addresses one of the social determinants of health, a vulnerable/marginalized population, or health policy. This narrative- not to exceed 3 pages- will comprise the first section (Practicum and Policy Background) of the final written assignment, and is worth 35% of your final grade in this course. Please write the Practicum and Policy Background in paragraph form, not in a question: answer format, and address the following:
1. How and why did you choose the elected official?
2. What were your volunteer duties? What did you encounter/experience as a result?
3. Identify the policy issue that meets the above criteria and is important to your elected official. Why is this issue of interest to the elected official?
4. What values held by your official are related to this issue?
5. Briefly describe the history/background of the problem related to this issue.
6. What population or group is most affected by this problem? How are they impacted?
What type of power do they have, if any?
7. Address the ethical, social, economic, cultural, and health implications of this problem.
8. What other things have been tried to resolve the problem?
9. How would the proposed policy improve or resolve the problem?
10. Describe any opposition to the proposed policy. What are the perceived/actual barriers to the proposed policy?
11. Where is the proposal currently in the legislative or process? What are the elected official’s goals for the proposal in this legislative session?

Include 3 evidence-based citations in SECTION ONE to support claims/perceptions of the problem and/or the appropriateness of the proposed policy in addressing the issue.

SECTION TWO: Legislative Initiative Plan

The second section (Legislative Initiative Plan) outlines the strategic action plan for moving the proposed policy forward in the current legislative session. This section, along with Section Three (Nursing Role/Implications), comprise the Legislative Initiative Plan component of this course and is worth 30% of your final grade. The criteria are based on the NLN Public Policy Toolkit. Please use a table format (see example below) and limit your Legislative Action Plan to a maximum of 3 pages. Legislative Initiative Plans are necessarily different for each policy, but certain key components are addressed in all Plans. The key areas can be found in the Grading Rubric.

SECTION THREE: Nursing Role/Implications

The final section (Nursing Role/Implications) is a narrative- not to exceed 2 pages- addressing why this issue should be important to nurses as healthcare providers and citizens, and explaining nursing’s role in helping to enact this policy. Include 2 current, evidence-based, NURSING citations in SECTION THREE to support nursing’s role in influencing legislative initiative.


This paper will focus on the insights gained from the practicum at the office of the state of Florida representative Jose Javier Rodriguez. Rodriguez is also by rule the co-sponsor of 2014 session Bill number CS/HB 491, “Infectious disease elimination pilot program,” currently in the Judiciary Committee Stage (Florida House of Representatives, 2014). Rep. Rodriguez was chosen for the purposes of this paper because of his outstanding ability in moving motions in the House of Representatives being the primary sponsor of fifteen bills and also a member of seven House Committees including Health quality, civil justice,   local & federal affairs, rules, the select committee on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA Act), and finance and tax committees. Moreover, in his life he has demonstrated a love for humanity by working as a volunteer with the less fortunate in society. After his graduation in 2006 from Harvard Law, Rep. Rodriguez dedicated his career to community service until 2012 assisting small businesses and low-income earners while working in Florida Legal Services. Moreover, his service as a Peace Corps in Senegal between the college and school of law further portrays his passion for the welfare of the community (Florida House of Representatives, 2014). As such, Rep. Rodriguez is party to reckon with in policy matters. During my practicum at his office, the volunteer duties included reviewing workplace health guidelines and management, checking at the health and safety measures employed at the worker’s environment. Furthermore, it involved checking for compliance discrepancies in the State health policies. Ultimately, a brief report was prepared on the health situation at the office working environment. During the short time in the office, it was learnt that employee safety and health was a major concern for Rep. Rodriguez. Moreover, it provided an opportunity to learn about the application of health policies in the workplace.