The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has announced a newly created Policy Honors Program for students to gain experience and foundational skills in policy analysis and advocacy to address critical health challenges.
The two-semester program will pair students with a faculty expert to broaden their understanding of nursing's role in policy and gain the skills and confidence to connect with policymakers, effectively communicate policy proposals, and advocate for policies that improve health for communities around the country and world.
"The Policy Honors Program is part of our bold vision to reshape nursing and influence health for the next century," says Sarah Szanton, dean of the School of Nursing. "We want to introduce students early on to the impact they can have engaging in policy. As more nurses are involved in policy and advocacy, more people will have access to care and better outcomes in life."
Szanton will teach the inaugural 2023 cohort, which will include discussion-based seminars, regular faculty mentoring sessions, and a policy-relevant project and final presentation. Discussion and assignments will help students identify, evaluate, and influence local, state, federal, and global policy issues. They will gain hands-on experiences in incorporating research, scholarship, and nursing's unique skillset and knowledge into their practice and civic engagement in a way that speaks to policymakers.
Faculty mentors for the 2023 cohort include:
- Teresa Brockie, an expert in indigenous health
- Jacquelyn Campbell, an expert in intimate partner violence
- Jason Farley, an expert in infectious diseases
- Nancy Reynolds, an expert in global health
Students who are eligible for the program will have successfully completed their first semester of the Master of Science in Nursing Entry into Nursing Program and submitted their application by October 31, 2022.
"The possibilities for nurses in health policy are immense," says Szanton. "Because there are four million nurses, and they are the most trusted profession, nurse involvement in policy is an extremely effective way of changing the whole country."