Letter to the Editor: Population Health Policy Advocacy

Write a 3 page letter to the editor of an academic or professional journal. The length and format of the letter is dictated by your choice of journal.


Note: Each assessment in this course builds on the work you completed in the previous assessment.

Advocating for new policies is an important aspect of the master’s-prepared nurse. For new policies to be compelling they need to be supported by evidence. Supporting data can be used to illustrate why new policies and interventions are needed to help address a specific health issue. Compelling data can help sway the stakeholders and gain support for your policy.

Another aspect of advocacy is disseminating new policies and interventions outside of the immediate care environment. This can be done by reaching out to professional organizations as well as academic and professional journals. A letter to the editor is one strategy for disseminating information to a wider audience, and to potentially enlist support throughout the wider professional community.


Assessment 3 will build upon the work you have done for your previous two assessments. For this assessment, you will be writing a letter to the editor of an academic or professional journal as a means to advocate for adoption or development of policies that will improve the quality of care and outcomes around your chosen health care issue and vulnerable population.

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Throughout this course, you have focused on a specific health issue occurring within a specific population. You researched position papers regarding this health concern, and you developed a health policy proposal to positively impact the health of the affected individuals. It is now time to reach a greater audience regarding your policy proposal.


Develop a letter to the editor of a peer-reviewed academic or professional nursing journal based on the policy proposal that you created for Assessment 2. Make sure you select a nursing journal that covers the topic about which you are going to write. If you want to use another journal that is not on this list, please make sure the journal does address health care, because this is the purpose of the assessment.

The goal of your letter is to be informative about the policy that you developed for Assessment 2, while also being persuasive about the need for and benefit of similar policies in other health care settings. The bullet points below correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. Be sure that your submission addresses all of them.

· Evaluate the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population.

· Look back to the data or scenario you used in Assessment 1 to address this criterion.

· Analyze how the current state of the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population necessitates health policy development and advocacy.

· Justify why a developed policy will be vital in improving the quality of care and outcomes for a specific issue in a target population.

· Advocate for policy development in other care settings with regard to a specific issue in a target population.

· Analyze the ways in which interprofessional aspects of a developed policy will support efficient and effective achievement of desired outcomes for the target population.

· Communicate in a professional and persuasive manner, writing content clearly and logically with correct use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

· Integrate relevant sources to support assertions, correctly formatting citations and references using current APA style (or the journal’s preferred style).

You can try using a search engine such as Google or Bing, if you have identified a different health care-focused journal that is appropriate to your needs and the assignment requirements.

Search for the journal title to locate the journal’s home page.

If the journal has a generic-sounding title that doesn’t include the word “journal” in its title, it may help to include it.

Example: To look up the guidelines for Geriatric Nursing, it would help to search the following: Geriatric Nursing journal

Once you’re on the journal’s home page, follow the instructions in the box above for searching within a journal’s website.


You can also try an internet search to see if you can be taken directly to the author instructions 

Search for “letters to the editor” and the name of your journal or the name of the publisher.

Example: “letters to the editor” Taylor and Francis 


Sample of nursing/health journals that include letter submission guidelines.

Here are a few journal examples identified by the library staff while helping others. They are not on the above-mentioned list:

· American Journal of Public Health : Letter to the editor submission information is the last item on this page.

· Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery : Document from the journal’s publisher that lists all submission types.

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