Political Astuteness: Informing Education for Advocacy and Efficacy

Dale Mueller


The Political Astuteness Inventory (PAI) was used in an undergraduate RN to BSN health policy course to determine student knowledge and civic skills. Based on knowledge from the field of political science, instructors should acknowledge that adults may acquire civic skills in many ways throughout life. Having data regarding student skill levels at the outset of a course and again at the conclusion of the course can inform appropriate instructional activities. The nursing literature emphasizes the role of the RN as patient advocate, although the definition and implementations are imprecise. This study using the PAI identifies skills that can be infused into curriculum for maximum efficacy as voters and political influencers. A pre-test/post-test survey design was used (n=234, 204). Pre-test findings indicated that most students are aware of health care policy issues but only a small percentage participate to effect change such as serving as a resource to professional organizations or elected officials. Post-test findings indicated that while conceptual knowledge increased, actions as influencers did not increase. Conclusions to be drawn include the necessity of including exposure to political processes by interacting with the federal, state or local environment as part of the curriculum.


advocacy, health policy, PAI

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.