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NURS 4105 – Advocacy Through Healthcare Policy Course Guide & Examples

NURS 4105 - Advocacy Through Healthcare Policy Course Guide & ExamplesNURS 4105 – Advocacy Through Healthcare Policy Course Guide & Examples

NURS 4105 – Advocacy Through Healthcare Policy Course (5 credits)

  • HP4001 Policy and the Role of the Nurse
    • Analyze the role of the nurse as a force that shapes policy.
  • HP4002 U.S. Healthcare System
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the U.S. healthcare system.
  • HP4003 Social Determinants of Health
    • Analyze healthcare policy and social determinants of health and how they impact health disparities.
  • HP4004 Evaluating Health Policy
    • Evaluate federal, state, and local policies on healthcare.
  • HP4005 Advocacy for Policy Change
    • Recommend policy change to advocate for positive patient outcomes.

Walden University Essays – NURS 4105 Advocacy Through Health Care Policy

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Walden University Essays – NURS 4105 Advocacy Through Health Care Policy Course Readings

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Allegretto, S., & Michelson, D. (2014). Looking at variation through a quality lens. Healthcare financial management, 68(12), 42-49.

American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope & standards of practice. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.

Fowler, M. M., & American Nurses, A. (2015). Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements : Development, Interpretation, and Application. Silver Spring, Maryland: American Nurses Association.

Fowler, M.D., & American Nurses Association. (2015b). Guide to nursing’s social policy statement: Understanding the profession! From social contract to social covenant. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.

Glen, P. (2013). Health care and the illegal immigrant. Health matrix: journal of law medicine23(1), 197-236.

Lang, K. P., Veazey-Morris, K., Berlin, K. S., & Andrasik, F. (2016). Factors Affecting Health Care Utilization in OEF/OIF Veterans: The Impact of PTSD and Pain. Military medicine, 181(1), 50-55. 

Pope, J. E., Padula, E., & Wallace-Dooley, D. (2015). Improving Ourselves for the Sake of Others: Our Baldrige Journey. Frontiers of health services management, 32(1), 3-16.

Stevens, K. R. (2013). The Impact of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and the Next Big Ideas. Online journal of issues in nursing, 18(2), 1. 

Watson, J. (2014). Young African American males: Barriers to access to health care. Journal of human behavior in the social environment24(8), 1004-1009.

NURS 4105 HP4001 Module 2 Pre-Assessment: Nursing Code of Ethics: Respect, Advocacy, and Equal Access to Healthcare

Analyze the Role of the Nurse as a Force That Shapes Policy

Nurses play a crucial role in shaping healthcare policy through their advocacy, ethical practice, and commitment to equitable patient care. This analysis will explore how nurses influence policy and the specific aspects of the nursing code of ethics that guide their advocacy efforts.

Nursing Code of Ethics: Provisions and Advocacy

The Nursing Code of Ethics, established by the American Nurses Association (ANA), comprises nine provisions that serve as a fundamental guide for nurses in their professional practice. These provisions emphasize respect for human dignity, patient relationships, the nature of health, the right to self-determination, and professional relationships. By adhering to these principles, nurses ensure they perform their duties without prejudice, judgment, or discrimination (ANA, 2015).

Respect for Human Dignity (Provision 1):

Nurses respect the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person. This principle ensures that all patients receive fair and respectful treatment, regardless of their background or circumstances (ANA, 2015).

Relationships with Patients and Others (Provision 2):

Nurses establish caring and respectful relationships with patients and collaborate with colleagues to provide quality care. This collaborative approach helps in advocating for patients’ needs and rights within the healthcare system (ANA, 2015).

The Nature of Health (Provision 3):

Recognizing the broad determinants of health, nurses advocate for social and economic conditions that promote health, wellness, and access to care for all (ANA, 2015).

The Right to Self-Determination (Provision 4):

Nurses support patients’ autonomy and their right to make informed decisions about their own health care, which is fundamental in advocating for patient-centered policies (ANA, 2015).

Advocacy and Policy Involvement (Provision 8):

Nurses collaborate with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities (ANA, 2015).

Access to Health Policy

One of the critical areas where nurses influence policy is in advocating for equal access to healthcare. Nurses believe that all individuals should have access to the same quality of medical treatment. This commitment is reflected in their support for policies that ensure vulnerable populations receive adequate care and access to necessary services. These services include mental health treatments, substance abuse programs, family planning, and safe environments for all patients (Fowler, 2015).

Historical Context and Ongoing Advocacy

Historically, nurses have been at the forefront of advocating for marginalized populations. According to Fowler’s guide to the nursing social policy statement, “In the 1800s, issues of the position of African-Americans and women surfaced—and persist. Society did not, then, have an awareness of the ways in which older adults, persons with disabilities, some immigrants were disadvantaged by the status quo. That awareness would not dawn until some decades later” (Fowler, 2015, p. 21). This statement highlights the historical challenges faced by minorities and women in accessing healthcare. Nurses took on the challenge of advocating for these groups, striving to ensure they received proper care.

Modern Advocacy

In contemporary society, nurses continue to play a vital role in advocating for equitable healthcare access. They work to ensure that all patients, regardless of their ability to speak up for themselves, receive the care they need. Nursing teams are at the forefront of policy advocacy, working with lawmakers, healthcare organizations, and communities to create and implement policies that support equal access to healthcare services (Fowler, 2015).


Nurses are instrumental in shaping healthcare policy through their advocacy, ethical practice, and commitment to equitable patient care. By adhering to the Nursing Code of Ethics, they ensure that all patients are treated with dignity and respect and have access to the necessary healthcare services. Their ongoing advocacy efforts continue to drive policy changes that promote health equity and protect the rights of vulnerable populations.


American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. American Nurses Association.

Fowler, M. D. M. (2015). Guide to the code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements: Development, interpretation, and application (2nd ed.). American Nurses Association.

NURS 4105 HP4001 Module 1 Pre-Assessment: Nurses’ Unique Position in Policy Challenges

Prompt 1: Unique Position of Nurses in Challenging Policy Situations

Nurses have a tremendous advantage in the political process, given the public’s overall respect for the profession and nurses’ expertise in healthcare. Year after year, nursing is voted as the most “ethical” profession by Gallup polls, and the average person perceives nurses as altruistic, caring, and intelligent. Describe two key reasons that nurses are uniquely positioned to take the lead in challenging policy situations.


Direct Patient Care Insight:

Nurses are the primary providers of direct patient care, making them acutely aware of the practical implications of healthcare policies. Their frontline experience allows them to identify gaps and inefficiencies in existing policies that administrators or policymakers may overlook (Abood, 2007). For instance, a nurse working in an emergency department can highlight the impact of understaffing on patient outcomes and advocate for policies that address nurse-to-patient ratios. This firsthand knowledge positions nurses to propose evidence-based policy changes that enhance the quality of care and improve patient safety.

In-depth Understanding of Healthcare Systems:

Nurses possess a comprehensive understanding of healthcare systems, from patient care protocols to administrative processes. This expertise enables them to evaluate which policies effectively support patient care and which need improvement (American Nurses Association, 2015). Nurses can advocate for policy changes by presenting data and real-life scenarios that illustrate the need for reforms. For example, a nurse who recognizes the shortcomings of discharge procedures might advocate for policies that ensure better patient education and follow-up care, reducing readmission rates and improving overall health outcomes.

Prompt 2: Policy-Making Skill Set and Patient Quality and Safety

Nurses understand that healthcare policy has important implications for patient quality and safety. Analyze how having a policy-making skill set, such as being able to write, review, and debate policies, leads to improvements in patient quality and safety.


Having a policy-making skill set equips nurses to influence the creation of effective and practical healthcare policies. The ability to write policies ensures that they are clear, comprehensive, and tailored to meet patient needs. Reviewing policies allows nurses to critically assess their impact, identify potential weaknesses, and suggest modifications based on clinical evidence and patient outcomes (Milstead & Short, 2019). Debating policies fosters a collaborative environment where nurses can advocate for patient-centric approaches, ensuring that policies prioritize patient safety and quality care.

For example, a nurse involved in policy-making can help draft protocols for infection control, drawing from their clinical experience to ensure the procedures are both effective and feasible. By reviewing these policies regularly, nurses can update them based on the latest evidence and feedback from frontline staff. During policy debates, nurses can argue for the allocation of resources towards initiatives that directly impact patient safety, such as improved hand hygiene practices or enhanced training programs for healthcare workers.

Prompt 3: Nurse’s Role in Policy Development/Modification

Involvement in healthcare policy is a natural extension of the nurse’s role as an advocate. Many opportunities exist for nurses to become involved in the policy process. Analyze the role of the nurse and how they might become an active participant in policy development/modification in at least two different aspects. For example, examine how a nurse can affect positive change in policy within their facility, and also think about a way that a nurse can be part of the policy-making process at the state or national level.


Facility-Level Policy Development:

Within their own healthcare facilities, nurses can play a pivotal role in policy development by participating in committees or task forces dedicated to improving patient care standards. For example, a nurse might join a quality improvement committee that reviews and revises clinical guidelines to enhance patient safety. By contributing their clinical insights and experiences, nurses can help shape policies that are both practical and effective (IOM, 2011). They can also lead initiatives such as implementing new protocols for pain management or patient discharge planning, ensuring these policies are grounded in real-world practice and focused on improving patient outcomes.

State or National Level Policy-Making:

At the state or national level, nurses can influence healthcare policy by joining professional organizations, such as the American Nurses Association (ANA), which advocate for nursing and healthcare issues. Nurses can participate in lobbying efforts, engage with legislators, and provide testimony on healthcare bills (Abood, 2007). For instance, a nurse might work with a state nursing association to advocate for legislation that mandates safe staffing ratios in hospitals. By using their clinical expertise and patient advocacy skills, nurses can help shape policies that ensure a safer and more effective healthcare system.

In both scenarios, nurses leverage their unique position and expertise to advocate for policies that improve patient care and safety. Their active involvement in policy development and modification ensures that healthcare policies are informed by practical, frontline experiences and are aligned with the best interests of patients and the nursing profession.


Abood, S. (2007). Influencing health care in the legislative arena. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(1). Retrieved from

American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.

Institute of Medicine (IOM). (2011). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

NURS 4105 HP4001 Module 3 Pre-Assessment Analysis: Ethics and Social Justice in Policy Making Discussion

Prompt 1: Ethical Principles in Policy Practices

Key Concept from the Nurses Code of Ethics

Every day, nurses apply ethical principles in each step of the policy process as they follow the best evidence-based practice guidelines available. Nurses’ policy practices are driven by caring, respect, openness, and honesty. Analyze one key concept in the Nurses Code of Ethics that nurses can utilize while involved in healthcare policy activities.

Provision 3: Advocacy for Patient Rights, Health, and Safety

Provision 3 of the Nurses Code of Ethics is a crucial concept that nurses can employ when participating in healthcare policy endeavors. The nurse assumes the responsibility of promoting, advocating for, and safeguarding the patient’s rights, health, and safety. The specifics of this provision play a crucial role in the formulation and modification of healthcare policies. It is imperative to consistently prioritize the welfare of the patient.

Provision 3 of the Nurses Code of Ethics states that nurses have a responsibility to promote, advocate for, and protect the rights, health, and safety of patients (American Nurses Association [ANA], 2015). This provision is essential in healthcare policy activities as it ensures that nurses remain patient-centered in their policy-making efforts. Nurses bring their firsthand experiences and understanding of patient care to the table, which is crucial for formulating policies that truly meet patient needs.

Role in Policy Process

  1. Promotion: Nurses use their knowledge and experience to influence healthcare policies that promote better health outcomes. By participating in policy discussions and committees, nurses ensure that the patient’s voice is heard and considered in policy formulation (ANA, 2015).
  2. Advocacy: Nurses advocate for patient rights by pushing for policies that protect patient privacy, ensure informed consent, and promote access to care. They work to dismantle barriers to healthcare, such as discrimination and socio-economic factors, ensuring equitable treatment for all patients (ANA, 2015).
  3. Protection: Nurses play a crucial role in safeguarding patient safety by advocating for policies that maintain high standards of care, ensure adequate staffing levels, and promote safe working conditions. They contribute to policies that prevent medical errors and enhance patient safety protocols (ANA, 2015).

By adhering to Provision 3, nurses ensure that healthcare policies remain focused on patient welfare, thus enhancing the overall quality and safety of the healthcare system.

Prompt 2: Nurses’ Social Contract and Policy Involvement

The essence of the nursing profession is both valued within a society and uniquely accountable to that society. This is considered to be the profession’s social contract. Using the American Nursing Association website, first identify a current healthcare policy that nurses are involved in at the local, state, or national level. Second, using Fowler’s Guide to Nursing’s Social Policy Statement: Understanding the Profession from Social Contract to Social Covenant, pp. 19-20, analyze how the nurses’ social contract is being upheld within that policy.

Selected Policy: ANA Policy on Care Coordination and the Role of Registered Nurses

Policy Overview

The ANA policy on care coordination emphasizes the critical role registered nurses play in coordinating patient care across various settings. It advocates for recognizing the professional standard of patient-centered care coordination and ensuring nurses are appropriately compensated for their contributions (American Nurses Association [ANA], 2012).

Nurses’ Social Contract and Care Coordination

Social Contract Elements:

  • Responsibility to Society: The nursing profession is committed to serving society by ensuring the health and well-being of individuals. This social contract involves a mutual understanding where society values the nursing profession, and nurses uphold their duties by providing high-quality care and advocating for patient needs (Fowler, 2015).
  • Accountability: Nurses are accountable to society for maintaining professional standards and ethical practices. This involves continual education, adherence to best practices, and active participation in policy-making to enhance healthcare systems (Fowler, 2015).

Analysis of the Social Contract in the Policy Context

  • Holistic Care Approach: The policy emphasizes the holistic care approach, which aligns with the nurses’ social contract by ensuring that care is patient-centered and considers all aspects of a patient’s well-being. Nurses coordinate with various healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care, reflecting their commitment to society’s health needs (ANA, 2012).
  • Advocacy for Fair Compensation: The policy advocates for equitable compensation for nurses, acknowledging their essential role in care coordination. This aligns with the social contract by recognizing the value nurses bring to the healthcare system and ensuring they are rewarded fairly, which in turn, sustains their ability to serve society effectively (ANA, 2012).
  • Ensuring Quality and Safety: The policy’s focus on using evidence-based care coordination measures ensures high standards of care. Nurses’ involvement in developing and implementing these measures ensures that patient safety and quality of care are prioritized, upholding the profession’s accountability to society (ANA, 2012).
  • Professional Development: The policy encourages the continuous evaluation and communication of nurses’ contributions to care coordination. This supports the social contract by promoting professional growth and ensuring that nurses are equipped to meet evolving healthcare challenges (ANA, 2012).

By supporting the ANA Policy on Care Coordination, nurses fulfill their social contract by enhancing patient care quality, advocating for their professional role, and ensuring that healthcare policies are designed with the patient’s best interest in mind. This policy exemplifies how nurses uphold their responsibilities to society while striving for professional integrity and excellence in healthcare delivery.


American Nurses Association. (2012). Care coordination and the role of the registered nurse.

American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements.

Fowler, M. D. M. (2015). Guide to nursing’s social policy statement: Understanding the profession from social contract to social covenant. American Nurses Association.

NURS 4105 HP4002 Module 1 Pre-Assessment: Understanding the Elements of the U.S Healthcare System

  1. Provide an overview of the basic elements that make up the U.S. Healthcare System as well as a description of the functions of each element.

The U.S. healthcare system comprises several key elements, each with distinct functions that together create a comprehensive structure for delivering health services. The primary elements include insurance, financing, delivery, and payment.

Insurance plays a critical role in ensuring that individuals have coverage for healthcare services in the event of illness or injury. It spreads financial risk among a larger group, making healthcare costs more predictable and affordable. Insurance also standardizes healthcare provisions to ensure non-discriminatory access to necessary services. Additionally, it safeguards patients from potential exploitation by healthcare providers through regulated practices and agreed-upon rates for services (Shi & Singh, 2019).

Financing involves the mobilization of resources necessary to support the operations of the healthcare system. This includes government funding, private investments, and contributions from employers and individuals. Effective financing ensures that resources are allocated efficiently to various sectors within the healthcare system, including public health, hospital services, and research. Sustainable financing strategies are crucial to maintaining the continuous inflow of funds required to meet the demands of healthcare delivery (Shi & Singh, 2019).

The delivery element forms the core of the healthcare system, where actual healthcare services are provided. This encompasses preventive care, diagnostics, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. Delivery also involves health promotion activities and education, offering information to the public about healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. Moreover, this element includes scientific research aimed at improving healthcare practices, developing new treatments, and enhancing the overall quality of care (Shi & Singh, 2019).

Payment mechanisms ensure that healthcare providers receive reimbursement for their services. This includes payments from insurance companies, government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and out-of-pocket payments by patients. Payment systems often incorporate incentive measures to encourage high-quality care and efficient service delivery, such as pay-for-performance models and bundled payments. Additionally, managing contracts with various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, insurers, and employers, ensures compliance with agreed terms and conditions (Shi & Singh, 2019).

In conclusion, the U.S. healthcare system is a complex network of interrelated elements, each playing a crucial role in ensuring that healthcare services remain accessible, affordable, and of high quality. Understanding these elements and their functions is essential for navigating and improving the healthcare landscape.


Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2019). Essentials of the U.S. Health Care System (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

NURS 4105 HP4002 Module 2 Pre-Assessment: Understanding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Prompt 1: Provide an overview of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare,” was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The ACA represents a significant overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, with the primary goal of increasing health insurance coverage and reducing the overall costs of healthcare.

Key Provisions of the ACA:

  • Individual Mandate: The ACA initially required all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. This mandate was designed to ensure a broad insurance pool, balancing costs across healthy and sick individuals.
  • Insurance Marketplaces: The establishment of state-based or federal health insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses could compare and purchase insurance plans. These marketplaces offer subsidies to lower-income individuals to make coverage more affordable.
  • Medicaid Expansion: The ACA expanded Medicaid eligibility to individuals and families with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, significantly increasing the number of people covered by Medicaid. However, this expansion was made optional for states by a Supreme Court ruling.
  • Pre-existing Conditions: Insurers are prohibited from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions, ensuring that individuals with chronic or serious health conditions have access to affordable insurance.
  • Essential Health Benefits: The ACA requires all insurance plans to cover a set of essential health benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and preventive services.
  • Dependent Coverage: Young adults can remain on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, providing an extended safety net for individuals in their early careers or still in school.
  • Preventive Services: The ACA mandates that insurance plans cover certain preventive services without cost-sharing, such as vaccinations, screenings, and contraceptive services.
  • Employer Mandate: Employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer health insurance that meets certain standards or face penalties, ensuring that more workers have access to health coverage through their jobs.

Prompt 2: Describe challenges and attempted reforms and repeals of the PPACA

Since its enactment, the ACA has faced numerous challenges and attempts at reform and repeal from various stakeholders, including political opponents, state governments, and segments of the public.


  • Political Opposition: The ACA faced strong opposition from the Republican Party, which viewed the law as an overreach of federal authority and criticized it for increasing government spending and regulation.
  • Legal Challenges: The ACA has been the subject of multiple legal challenges. In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing power. However, the Court also ruled that Medicaid expansion was optional for states, leading to uneven implementation across the country.
  • Insurance Market Stability: Some insurers struggled to remain profitable in the ACA marketplaces, leading to higher premiums and reduced plan availability in some areas. This instability was partly due to an initial underestimation of the health needs of enrollees and insufficient participation from younger, healthier individuals.
  • Affordability Issues: Despite subsidies, many individuals still found insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs to be burdensome. High deductibles and copayments have led to concerns about the actual affordability of coverage.

Attempted Reforms and Repeals:

  • Repeal Efforts: Since the ACA’s passage, there have been numerous attempts to repeal or replace it, particularly during the Republican-controlled Congress from 2011 to 2019. The most notable attempt was the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in 2017, which sought to dismantle key ACA provisions. The AHCA passed the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate.
  • Individual Mandate Repeal: In 2017, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress effectively repealed the individual mandate by reducing the penalty for not having insurance to zero, starting in 2019. This move raised concerns about the potential increase in uninsured rates and higher premiums due to a less balanced insurance pool.
  • State-level Innovations: Some states have sought to innovate within the framework of the ACA. For instance, states like California and New York have implemented additional subsidies and state-based individual mandates to bolster coverage. Other states have pursued waivers to experiment with different models of care and coverage.
  • Executive Actions: The Trump administration took various executive actions to undermine the ACA, including expanding short-term, limited-duration insurance plans that do not meet ACA standards and cutting funding for outreach and enrollment efforts.

Despite these challenges and attempts at reform and repeal, the ACA has succeeded in significantly reducing the uninsured rate in the U.S., expanding access to healthcare, and establishing consumer protections. The future of the ACA continues to be a dynamic and politically charged issue, with ongoing debates about how to best achieve affordable and comprehensive healthcare for all Americans.

NURS 4105 HP4003: Social Determinants of Health: Addressing Healthcare Disparities for Low-Income Communities: A Comprehensive Analysis


Healthcare policies are instrumental in shaping the health outcomes of populations, particularly those most vulnerable. In examining the intricate interplay between healthcare policy and social determinants of health, it becomes increasingly apparent that disparities in access to care significantly impact low-income communities. According to Smith (2019), social determinants of health encompass a range of factors, including economic status, educational attainment, and community resources, which collectively influence health outcomes and healthcare utilization patterns. These disparities are particularly pronounced in low-income communities, where residents often face systemic barriers to accessing essential healthcare services. Therefore, understanding the implications of healthcare policy on social determinants of health is paramount in addressing health disparities and promoting health equity.

Impact of Social Determinants of Health

Economic Status

Economic disparities serve as a significant barrier to healthcare access in low-income communities. Adams et al. (2018) highlight that individuals facing financial constraints may struggle to afford health insurance premiums, copayments, and deductibles, leading to delayed or forgone medical care. For instance, studies have shown that low-income households are more likely to report skipping necessary medical appointments or prescriptions due to cost concerns (Brown & Williams, 2020). Furthermore, economic instability can exacerbate health inequities by limiting access to nutritious food, safe housing, and transportation, all of which are essential determinants of health.

Education Level

Limited educational opportunities contribute to disparities in health outcomes by hindering individuals’ health literacy and awareness of available healthcare resources. Robinson & Patel (2019) emphasize that individuals with lower levels of education may struggle to navigate complex healthcare systems, understand medical instructions, or advocate for their health needs effectively. For example, research suggests that individuals with limited health literacy are less likely to engage in preventive health behaviors, such as regular screenings and vaccinations, leading to higher rates of preventable diseases (Garcia & Martinez, 2021). Therefore, addressing educational disparities is crucial for empowering individuals to make informed healthcare decisions and improve health outcomes.

Access to Healthcare

Geographic barriers, transportation limitations, and inadequate healthcare infrastructure further exacerbate disparities in accessing healthcare services among low-income communities. Turner & Clark (2018) note that rural and urban areas with high concentrations of poverty often lack sufficient healthcare facilities, specialists, and essential medical services, forcing residents to travel long distances to access care. Moreover, limited public transportation options and high transportation costs can pose additional challenges for individuals seeking medical treatment, particularly those with chronic conditions or disabilities (Johnson, 2017). Consequently, efforts to improve healthcare access must address not only the availability of services but also the affordability and accessibility of transportation options.

Policy Implications

Recent healthcare policy initiatives, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have sought to address disparities in access to care among low-income communities. For example, Adams & White (2021) highlight the expansion of telehealth services as a critical policy intervention to improve healthcare access, particularly for individuals residing in remote or underserved areas. Telehealth platforms enable patients to consult healthcare providers virtually, reducing barriers related to transportation, distance, and time constraints. Additionally, legislative measures have been implemented to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines, regardless of individuals’ socioeconomic status or insurance coverage (Smith et al., 2020). These policy interventions not only mitigate immediate health risks but also lay the groundwork for addressing longstanding disparities in healthcare access and outcomes.


In conclusion, healthcare policies play a pivotal role in shaping health outcomes and addressing disparities in access to care among low-income communities. By recognizing and addressing the social determinants of health, including economic status, educational attainment, and access to healthcare, policymakers can enact targeted interventions to promote health equity and improve health outcomes for all individuals. However, achieving meaningful change requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the root causes of health disparities and prioritizes the needs of underserved populations. Therefore, ongoing advocacy, research, and policy development are essential to advancing health equity and ensuring that every individual has access to quality healthcare, regardless of their socioeconomic status.


Adams, J., & White, C. (2021). Addressing healthcare disparities: The role of policy interventions. Journal of Health Policy and Management, 15(3), 102-115.

Adams, S., et al. (2018). Economic barriers to healthcare access in low-income communities. Journal of Public Health Economics, 25(2), 67-82.

Brown, R., & Williams, L. (2020). Transportation challenges and healthcare access in underserved communities. Health Services Research Journal, 18(4), 221-235.

Garcia, M., & Martinez, K. (2021). Improving health literacy in low-income communities: A policy perspective. Health Policy Review, 30(1), 45-58.

Johnson, P. (2017). Economic disparities and healthcare utilization patterns. Healthcare Policy Analysis, 20(3), 145-159.

Robinson, E., & Patel, N. (2019). Education and healthcare access: Bridging the gap in underserved communities. Journal of Community Health, 28(1), 55-68.

Smith, D. (2019). Healthcare policy implications for low-income communities: A critical review. Health Policy and Management Review, 24(4), 189-203.

Smith, M., et al. (2020). Telehealth expansion: Addressing disparities in access to care. Journal of Telemedicine and Telehealth, 10(2), 78-92.

Turner, J., & Clark, S. (2018). Geographic disparities in healthcare access: A spatial analysis. Health Geography Journal, 22(3), 110-125.

NURS 4105 HP4003: Social Determinants of Health Disparities Paper:  Addressing Health Disparities in Rural Northeast Georgia


Living in the rural northeast part of Georgia offers a picturesque landscape, but it comes with challenges related to healthcare access and delivery due to various social determinants of health. This paper analyzes the impact of healthcare policy and social determinants of health on health disparities within our community.

Healthcare Access Barriers

One significant barrier to healthcare access in our community is the geographical landscape, characterized by treacherous winding mountain roads. This geographical challenge hinders access to specialized healthcare services and emergency rooms, particularly affecting the elderly population’s ability to reach healthcare facilities. According to national statistical analysis, Georgia ranks fourth in the nation for non-interstate fatalities, with 594 lives lost on rural roads (Study Finds S.C., Ga. Rural Traffic Deaths among Highest in U.S., 2022). The fear of navigating these dangerous roads influences patients’ decisions regarding seeking healthcare, impacting their health outcomes.

Financial Constraints

Limited funding further exacerbates healthcare disparities in our community. Due to our smaller population size, state funds and grants are proportionally distributed, resulting in reduced resources for public services like transportation, which is crucial for the aging population. Additionally, our rural emergency rooms face challenges such as limited supplies, outdated technology, and delayed care due to transportation issues. This lack of resources and staffing constraints hinder our county’s ability to provide adequate healthcare services to the community.

State Health Gap Initiatives

Georgia acknowledges various health gap issues, including lack of insurance coverage, opioid abuse, unmet mental health needs, and financial strain on rural hospitals. To address these gaps, state lawmakers implemented measures such as increasing tobacco product prices to generate additional funds for healthcare initiatives (Harker, 2018). Furthermore, local hospitals, like Northeast Georgia Medical Center, have taken proactive steps to address healthcare disparities. For instance, recognizing the delay in administering whole blood due to rural topography, the hospital initiated a pilot program to transport specialized ambulances carrying whole blood products to improve patient outcomes (accessWDUN & Moore, 2023).


In conclusion, healthcare policy and social determinants of health significantly impact health disparities in rural northeast Georgia. Addressing these disparities requires collaborative efforts from policymakers, healthcare institutions, and the community to overcome barriers to access, financial constraints, and resource limitations. By implementing evidence-based programs and initiatives tailored to the needs of our community, we can work towards achieving health equity for all residents.

NURS 4105 HP4003: Social Determinants of Health: Proper Care for Elderly Patients

Case Study Assessment Response

Healthcare policies and social determinants of health play a crucial role in shaping health outcomes, especially for vulnerable populations like elderly patients. In the case of Maria, a comprehensive understanding of her social context and care environment is essential for providing proper care and ensuring positive health outcomes.

One key aspect to consider is the support system available to Maria at home. Questions regarding who assists her with daily activities such as medication management, cooking, and transportation to medical appointments are pivotal. Additionally, exploring the presence of a caregiver and their capabilities is crucial in assessing Maria’s ability to maintain her health at home.

Moreover, considering Maria’s cognitive abilities is imperative to ensure her understanding of her care plan. Utilizing interpreters when necessary and evaluating her comprehension of healthcare instructions can prevent misunderstandings and improve adherence to treatment regimens.

Furthermore, examining Maria’s living conditions, insurance coverage, and access to pharmacies and healthcare services are vital. Assessing the adequacy of her transportation options and the availability of follow-up care in her small town setting is essential for continuity of care.

In summary, by analyzing healthcare policies and social determinants of health in Maria’s case, nurses can identify potential disparities and develop tailored care plans to address her needs effectively. Advocating for comprehensive assessment protocols and access to supportive services is crucial in promoting optimal health outcomes for elderly patients like Maria.

NURS 4105 HP4004 Evaluating Health Policy Essay & Brochure Assignment

Assignment Prompts Descriptions:

  1. Find and evaluate evidence-based practice literature pertaining to your selected policy. You’ll need at least two current, scholarly articles that pertain to the policy you selected. These resources will be cited and used within each of the sections of your brochure. { Document #1 : 1 page in paragraph style}
  2. What are the barriers to implementing the policy? If it has already been implemented, what are the barriers to modifying the policy?
  3. Based on what you’ve learned, do you support the policy or want to see it changed? Why? What changes do you recommend to the policy? What can nurses do to support or change the policy? (Document #2 includes question # 2 and 3 in essay paragraph style)
  4. Using the policy brochure template, create a policy brochure to hang in a staff lounge bulletin board. It should be one page and use colors, graphics, and any other visual aids that applies. Your brochure should include each of the following sections/topics:
    1. Select a policy at the institutional, local, state, or federal level (or your country of origin) that affects you and/or your workplace. For example, it may be a policy that you have observed in your current clinical setting or one that you have read about in a professional journal or newspaper. Give a brief overview of the policy. What is the overall impact of the policy in healthcare? How does the policy impact you and/or your workplace?
    2. Determine how nurses or other healthcare professionals view the policy. You can do this by talking with fellow nurses, observing staff putting the policy into action, or locating readings that discuss how the policy has been received.
    3. Find and evaluate evidence-based practice literature pertaining to your selected policy. You’ll need at least two current, scholarly articles that pertain to the policy you selected. These resources will be cited and used within each of the sections of your brochure.
    4. What are the barriers to implementing the policy? If it has already been implemented, what are the barriers to modifying the policy?
    5. Based on what you’ve learned, do you support the policy or want to see it changed? Why? What changes do you recommend to the policy? What can nurses do to support or change the policy?

Support each of your responses with scholarly resources, as needed.

Brochure Template

What Is the Policy?

  • Describe the policy. Describe the overall impact of the policy both holistically and within your facility.

Evidence that supports the policy

  • List and explain the evidence that supports the policy.
  • Source 1
  • Source 2
  • Source 3

What Do Nurses Have to Say?

  • Explain why nurses either support the policy or why they do not support it.

 —Very smart customer

What Are the Barriers to Implementation?

  • List the difficulties in implementing the policy. If the policy has already been implemented, list the barriers to change.

Why You Should Support the Policy (or not)

  • Explain why colleagues should either support the policy or work to change it.

NURS 4105 HP4005 Advocacy for Policy Change: Advocating Policy Letter Assignment


Select a policy that relates to your personal practice and draft a letter to a state or federal legislator explaining your stance and offering recommendations on how best to improve the policy.


To complete this Assessment, do the following:

All submissions must follow the conventions of scholarly writing. Properly formatted APA citations and references must be provided where appropriate. Submissions that do not meet these expectations will be returned without scoring.

Letter to a Legislator (1- 2-pages)

As one of more than 3.6 million nurses in the United States, you are in the unique position to share your professional insights to influence policy at all levels of government. Aiding important initiatives to gain state and national attention is an important part of professional nursing advocacy. After all, as the number one most trusted profession in the country (Norman, J., 2016), nurses can really make a difference in the policy arena to effectively advocate for patients.

One way to ensure effective advocacy is to contact and enlist the support of those in positions of power. In this Assessment, you will compose a 1- to 2-page letter to a legislator concerning a local, state, or national policy and that is similar to those that come across the desks of legislators every day. (Note: You must select a different policy than one you chose for previous Competencies in this Area of Expertise).

This activity allows you to share your nursing expertise with a legislator and to inform that legislator of current research that supports a policy position.

  • Step 1: Choose a local, state, or national policy issue that is of concern to you. Go to the American Nurses Association (ANA) web page—Advocacy at
    to read about current nursing policy issues in the United States.
  • Step 2: Locate legislators or policymakers in your city, state, or country who you will contact regarding your selected policy. You can find a list of local legislators in the United States at:
  • Step 3: Draft a letter suggesting a policy change.
    • Read pg. 22—23 of the AACN’s “From Patient Advocacy to Political Action: AACN’s Guide to Understanding Healthcare Policy and Politics” at to view a sample letter.
    • Using the AACN sample letter as a guide, format your letter as follows:
      • Describe your education and career experiences;
      • Describe your qualifications and expertise in a policy area using at least two examples;
      • Analyze the critical role nurses play in improving care, as they are at the point of care;
      • Summarize the key points of your chosen policy;
      • Defend your stance on the policy using at least two current, scholarly resources in support of your position; and
      • Recommend at least two actions for change with regards to the selected policy.

Note: Be respectful, professional, and direct with your written request. Avoid using arguments of emotion and focus only on those arguments based in fact.

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