Week 1 Pre-Search Questions and Application

Week 1 Pre-Search Questions and Application

Develop a list of at least five pre-search questions to avoid message bias and identify potential sources about your project topic. See examples in Ch. 9 of Reaching Audiences under “Developing a Strategy” in the “Getting Started” section.
Find and list three or four sources for your project topic. Use Appendix A: Information Trail to help you organize your sources.
Write a 350- to 700-word analysis of the sources for their credibility based on the following criteria:
• Accuracy
• Authority
• Currency
• Audience
• Agenda
Develop a list of several follow-up questions you have after reading these sources.
Format your paper and cite your resources consistent with APA guidelines.
Submit your assignment to the Assignment Files tab.

Week 1 Pre-Search Questions and Application

NUR-740 Health Policy Paper (Assignment)

A policy brief is an objective analysis of a current and controversial health care cost/access/quality issue directed at a specific audience who is involved in or impacted by the issue – and/or who has the power and resources to implement your policy recommendation. Briefs synthesize a large amount of complex detail so that a legislator can easily understand the heart of the issue, its background, the stakeholders, and any recommendations about the future of the issue.

This policy brief assignment assumes that your legislator has asked you to provide him/her with an objective analysis of a piece of current legislation so that s/he can decide on how to vote on the bill. Refer to the Health Policy Paper Scoring Guide [PDF] for grading details.

  • Guidelines

Your paper should adhere to the following formatting guidelines:

  • 12 point, Times New Roman font
  • 1 inch margins
  • Appropriate spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • 5 pages maximum in length (Does not include title page or reference page)
  • APA 6th Edition formatting (throughout the entire paper)
    • Title page
    • Headings
    • In-text citation
    • References


Your paper should consist of the following (You are required to use heading and subheading to organize your paper) :


  1. Define the issue/problem – what is the cost/access/quality problem?
  2. Why should we care about this issue? What impact is the issue having on access to affordable quality care?
  3. What has brought the issue to the public eye? – Current legislation, court decision, litigation, or other causes?
  4. What makes the issue controversial? Who are the main stakeholder groups impacted by this issue?
  5. What will the bill do to address the issue (if applicable)?


History and Background
Part A

  1. What is the problem?
  2. How large is the problem?
  3. Who is affected by the problem?
  4. How does it impact access to care?
  5. Quality of care? Cost (affordability) of care?

Note: Offer data that substantiates the issue’s impact on access, quality of care.

Part B

  1. What insights are there from academic, professional, or public documents on this particular problem?
  2. Are there landmark studies?
  3. Are there studies that provide guidance as to a possible policy response?

Potential sources of reports and studies include:

  • Institute of Medicine (IOM) and think tanks
  • Medical journals
  • Health Affairs
  • Josiah Macy Foundation
  • Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Congressional Budget Office
  • Government Accountability Office

Part C

  1. What has been done to address this problem in the recent past and how well did those solutions work?
  2. What can be learned from these initiatives?

Outcomes/Stakeholders/Competing Proposals

Stakeholders are groups with the power and resources to influence policy. Identify stakeholders by anticipating likely outcomes of specific solutions (or bills) – both intended and unintended.

  1. What is the bill’s purpose?
  2. Which groups stand to gain?
  3. What unintended consequences might result if the bill (or other solution) goes into effect?
  4. What stakeholder groups would be negatively affected by these unintended consequences?
  5. Is there potential for a coalition of stakeholders?

Identify allies and opponents. Recognize that your audience/decision maker probably can’t or won’t act alone.

  1. Which stakeholders have taken a position on this policy issue?
  2. What are their positions?
  3. Your audience will be most interested in the positions of the “800 lb. gorillas” – the groups with the most power and influence (money).
  4. What major alternative strategies have stakeholders proposed as solutions to this problem?
  5. How effective would these alternative policies be in increasing access to affordable quality care with a minimum of unintended consequences?
  6. Do the political parties have a position on this issue?


  1. How should your congressmen vote on this bill? Why?
  2. Your decision does not have to be black and white – you can recommend changes and amendments to the bill.
  3. If your issue does not involve a current bill, what policy do you recommend to address this issue legislation?
  4. Make sure you defend your choice with data.
  5. What will determine success? How will you know whether this proposal, if implemented, is successful?
  6. What timelineand benchmarks could be used to demonstrate to the public that you have solved the problem as initially identified? Are existing data systems available to mark the progress of the policy?
  7. What are the benefits and costs of this policy? Our political culture has designated the marketplace for resolving many allocation issues. Why should scarce public resources be used to help resolve this particular access/cost/quality problem? What are the benefits and costs to the public official (if applicable)?


Use at least 10 current credible resources (within the past 5 years).

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