Policy Brief: Detailed Directions
As stated in The Essentials, healthcare policy can facilitate or hinder healthcare delivery, and
legislation directly affects the environment in which advanced practice nurses (APN) practice.
APNs are called to participate in the legislative process, influencing policy development to better
meet the needs of providers and care recipients. Ultimately, MSN and DNP education have two
outcomes related to healthcare policy and advocacy: (a) examine and evaluate the policy
process and (b) engage in political activism as it relates to ensuring healthcare policy reduces
disparities, improves access and quality, reduces costs, and promotes equity.
This assignment focuses on the student’s ability to understand and evaluate policy processes
and make decisions on whether certain policies achieve the goals outlined above. From there,
graduates can transform this knowledge into political activism: Developing a policy brief is one
way to accomplish this. By utilizing this strategy, graduates can ensure that they have a seat at
the table when decisions about their practice are being made.
Policy briefs are succinct documents that are easy to review and work to persuade a chosen
audience to support or remove support for the development of a particular policy. The following
steps outline what you need to accomplish for this assignment. Additional questions are welcome and should be posted in the Course Q&A.
Step 1: Bill Selection. Choose a federal-level healthcare bill that addresses
a healthcare problem of your choosing. You must choose a federal bill from
the 117th Congress (Jan. 3, 2021 to Jan. 2023). The bill must still be
pending. You may not select a bill that has already passed both the Senate
and the House or one that is waiting on signature from President. You may
use a bill that has only passed one of the congressional branches— either
the House or the Senate, but not both. It is recommended that you use
congress.gov, senate.gov, house.gov, legiscan.com, or the Thomas Library of
Congress to search for a health-related bill to analyze for thisbrief.
Step 2: Executive Summary. Begin your brief with an executive summary that
introduces the chosen healthcare issue. This will be your audience’s initial
contact with your brief so you want to make sure it is compelling so that they
continue to read.
In 1-2 paragraphs, you should (a) describe the issue, (b) address its impact,
(c) express why it’s timely to address this issue now, and (d) introducewhat
the major outcomes that would result from fixing the problem. Support this
section with relevant facts, figures, statistics, and costs.
Step 3: Background and Significance. Discuss how each of the following factors
relate to your problem. Include explanations of (a) how they contribute to
the existence and magnitude of your problem, and (b) how your problem
A. Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)
B. Physical Determinants of Health
C. The Economy
D. The Healthcare System
Each of these should be developed and supported separately and include
facts, numbers, figures, research, and statistics to support your
statements. Specific SDOH and physical determinants and their
connection to your issue should be included. In your ethical section,
connect your discussion to a particular ethical factor or theory that is
relevant to your topic. This section should paint the picture of the farreaching impact of the issue. Focus on the problem and not potential
solutions, including the bill you chose.
Step 4: Historical Context. Summarize the history of your issue as a public health
concern. Discuss if the issue has been debated in the past and the major
opinions that prevailed. Lastly, summarize the past legislative attempts to
resolve this problem and their outcomes/impact.
Step 5: Policy Recommendation: Introduce your policy recommendation using
its bill number and title (if titled) and summarize what it is intended to do.
Support your selection of this bill by addressing (a) how it fills in gaps left
by previous legislation and (b) why it is preferred to other methods of
solving the problem. Support this section with evidence. Include a working
link to your bill.
Step 6: Criteria for Evaluation. This section is the central aspect of this
assignment and requires you to use evidence to analyze theeffectiveness,
efficiency, and equity (three Es) of the bill you selected as described below:
A. Effectiveness: Summarize current evidence describing how the
specific strategies proposed in the bill are effective at solving the
chosen problem. Discuss the immediate, short, and long term
outcomes that are achievable following the implementation of this bill.
B. Efficiency: Summarize current evidence that demonstrates how the
specific strategies in the bill are efficient. Include illustrations of cost
versus benefit and/or cost versus effectiveness. Broadly, discuss the
human, monetary, infrastructure, and technical resources required for
implementation as applicable and whether this is sustainable.
C. Equity: Discuss how the specific strategies in the bill have been shown
to impact health disparities and inequities. Also consider whether
implementation of the bill itself is equitable. Identify any concerns about
the fairness of cost sharing or burden of implementation.
Specific examples of strategies from your bill should be included in each
section above. The ability to perform objective analysis is key to quality policy
evaluation. The conclusions presented in this section should be the result of
synthesizing research findings from the literature. It is not meant to reflect
your opinion. The bill itself cannot be used for support for any of the three Es.
Step 7: Areas of Concern. Explain at least one potential unintended negative
consequence of this bill. Discuss gaps in knowledge, data, or evidence that
make predicting outcomes difficult or that bar you from fully supporting a
particular aspect of the bill. Support with evidence as applicable.
Step 7: Potential Barriers. Identify and discuss potential barriers to
implementation and/or full realization of intended outcomes. These may
be social, educational, cultural, or legally based for example. You may
also describe factors not list here.
Step 8: Reference List. There should be a minimum of 10 references published
within the last 5 years on your list. The majority must be peer-reviewed
references. Additional references types may include current events,
information from professional organization sites, and relevant
publications from corporation websites. In-text citations and reference
list entries should be presented in APA format.
Language and Style Considerations: Although the formatting of assignment strays from APA
(exceptions discussed below), the student should maintain their professional voice throughout,
continuing to avoid the use of “I” and other personal pronouns and refrain from using
colloquialisms and unprofessional language. The policy brief document itself may have visual
interest as you see fit.
• Submit this assignment in PDF format to ensure that your styling is maintained.
• Use single spacing
• Use bullets, panels, bold font, underline, color, boxes, and photos strategically.
• Continue to follow expected grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, abbreviation, and
numeral guidelines outlined in the APA manual.
• Cite legislation in APA format for in-text citations and reference list entries.
• If you are not using photos that you own, please use the advanced search feature in Google
Images to filter results by pictures that are free for use or sharing and/or give credit to the
source of your photos.
• Let the styling overshadow you message. Find a balance.
• Include an APA formatted titlepage.
• Forget to maintain your professional voice.
• The document should be organized with headings presented in the same order in which
they are presented in the rubric. Creativity in the use of space is allowed and encouraged,
• With styling, the assignment should be approximately 6 single-spaced pages in length
(excluding the reference pages and any appendices) and must have a minimum of ten
(10) references, the majority of which should peer reviewed. References should be timely:
published within the previous five (5) years.
• Submission Instructions: Each paper should be submitted in a single PDF to the
appropriate assignment area. Each paper, with appendices, will be automatically submitted to
turnitin.com upon submission to the course.