Nursing helping students understand politics

One of the topics covered in the nursing management class is politics in nursing. In the past the class was lectured on the topic and then had to identify a bill and write a letter to their representative. Students constantly would write to the wrong representative when the assignment was turned in.

So I decided to shorten the lecture and have the students pair up and use 6o minutes of the class time to participate in a class activity to ensure their success on the assignment. This works best in an interactive classroom, but can be done in a traditional classroom using smart phones or laptop computers. The students are shown how to find legislative pages online to identify who their representatives are and identify bills currently being acted on. From there they have to identify who their representatives are at the state and federal level. Typically in a class of 30 students maybe one student already knows this information. The students can ask for help during this phase. From there the students have to look up bills that affect health care and identify who they would write to (correct house and correct level state or federal).

Once they have this information they are free to leave and complete the assignment of writing a letter to a representative. With including this activity the letters the students turn in for grading have greatly improved. The students do a much better job of matching the correct legislation to the correct legislator and who is in their voting district.

I am thinking of making one more change to this process. A last check could be a ticket to get out of class where they have to show me the legislation and who they are going to write to. This would be one last chance to verify their understanding, make corrections and reinforce teaching

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