From Intention to Action: Nurses as Policy Advocates for Asthma Care in Schools

Ellen M. McCabe, Cynthia Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nurses are familiar with policy at the federal, state, local, and institutional levels, but drafting a policy memo might be new to some. School nurses may have an interest in writing a health policy memo on their own, with colleagues, as part of a nursing organization, or with students who are interested in learning about policy development, school health, and safety. The intention of writing a policy memo is to offer a concisely written analysis of an issue, including background, landscape, and available options, along with recommendations for action to persons in authority, such as congressmen, senators, local officials, or school boards. The first section of this article serves as an exemplar of a policy memo, using the public health topic of asthma. Next, the article focuses on barriers to policy development for this condition in schools and offers selected strategies to address those barriers. While a discourse concerning barriers is not a typical component of a policy memo, this section shows how school nurses can draw on evidence to consider the best way to make positive change. To construct a sturdy argument for change, school nurses need to appreciate potential counterarguments, which is why this exemplar is included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalNASN School Nurses
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • advocacy
  • asthma
  • policy development
  • safety
  • school nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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