Online Program

Roadmap for Successful Political Advocacy: Linking Virginia's Story to Public Policy-Making Theory

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Melody Eaton, PhD, MBA, RN, CNE, Department of Nursing, James Madison University, Broadway, VA
Public Health Nurses, health care professionals and local communities have often underestimated their ability to educate legislators and the public on the value of public health, public health professionals, and community-based need for policy change. One success story and case study with a slightly different context lends guidance to public and community health advocacy efforts to delineate a model for effective political advocacy and differentiate successful advocacy strategies for health policy change.

In 2007, Virginia’s community of nurses rose to a challenge. There was a bottle­neck of students waiting for admission to Virginia nursing programs. Nursing leaders knew that recruiting and retaining qualified faculty was a huge challenge. In addi­tion, they felt that furthering nurses’ educational levels would prove the best route to increase the number of quali­fied nursing faculty. They felt that these initiatives would improve nursing school capacities in Virginia (VNA, 2007).

Virginia nurses addressed the shortage by introducing legislation to improve faculty salaries and promote nursing education. They fully defined their problem, formed a unified coalition to develop a solution, and found the political environment favorable for policy change. Their advocacy success story lends guidance and encouragement for advocacy related to community health planning and public health policy initiatives. Linking their successful road to policy change to the B. B. Longest (2010) public policy-making framework provides a model and roadmap for success.

Longest, B. B. (2010). 

Virginia Nurses Association (January, 2007).

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss a model for effective political advocacy Differentiate successful advocacy strategies for health policy change

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Eaton served in the role of chair for the Legislative Coalition of Virginia Nurses for two terms (from 2004 to 2008), focusing on grassroots lobbying for nursing education funding. She has served in the role of Director and Department Chair of Longwood University where she developed a new generic BSN program. She enjoys her current role as Professor of Nursing with James Madison University assisting with the development of an interprofessional Health Policy Collaborative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.