Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mattie H. Burton


Nurses have a professional, ethical, and social responsibility to advocate for optimal healthcare and an optimal professional environment. However, nurses often default on that responsibility. Leadership at a national nursing organization's state affiliate (SNO) perceived a need to optimize its members' policy advocacy. To meet that need, the Policy Advocacy Toolkit for Nurses (PATN) was developed for this doctoral project. The evidence-based PATN relied on established theories and frameworks, notably Knowles' adult education theory and Kingdon's multiple streams approach; research specific to this project; evidence from other researchers, healthcare organizations, and government websites; and input from a statistician, nursing education experts, and SNO personnel. The PATN's creation had 2 research questions. The first research question asked what SNO members' motivators and barriers to advocacy were. Chi square tests of survey results addressing this issue found significant relationships between advocacy levels and perceived speaking skills (χ2[4, N = 176] = 30.435, p = .000), understanding of SNO's daily advocacy activities (χ2[4, N = 176] = 17.814, p=.001), and understanding of policy creation (χ2[4, N = 176] = 33.830, p = .000). The second research question asked if the PATN's design was significantly improved after incorporating SNO design-stakeholders' input. A paired sample t test revealed no significant difference (p>.05) in the PATN with the stakeholders' input added. Details for evaluating the PATN's sustained effect on political astuteness, as offered in this doctoral project, were provided to the SNO. The PATN, evidence-based and built on the perceived needs of its intended users, should promote positive social change by promoting nurse advocacy.