Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nursing and Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Riah L. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Teresa C. Shellenbarger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Diana L. Rupert, Ph.D.


Nurse educators are expected to teach nursing students health policy advocacy; however, there continues to be an absence of strong nursing presence within health policy creation and engagement. A nurse educator’s own political knowledge (political astuteness) and confidence (self-efficacy) in health policy may be a contributing factor to the absence of nurses’ lack of health policy engagement in practice.

This descriptive, cross sectional study evaluates the political astuteness and political self-efficacy reported by nurse educators and the impact personal and professional factors have on their self-reported political astuteness and political self-efficacy. The study used the Political Astuteness Inventory developed by Philip Clark in 1984 and the Teacher’s Political Self-Efficacy tool developed by Dr. Mary Catherine Hammon in 2010. The theoretical framework for this study was Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (SCT).

This study used a random sample of 112 nurse educators from CCNE accredited BSN nursing programs in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The results indicate that there is a strong correlation (r = .809, p = .000) between political astuteness and political self-efficacy. Additionally, results of the study supported Bandura’s SCT, indicating that nurse educators with role models in their professional nursing organizations reported higher scores in both political astuteness and political self-efficacy. Age was also a significant finding impacting nursing educators’ political astuteness and political self-efficacy. Older nurse educators reported higher political astuteness and political self-efficacy.

Implications of this study suggest more external motivation should be placed on nurse educators by deans, nursing department chairs and professional nursing organizations to increase political astuteness and political self-efficacy. Nurse educators who are more politically astute and have political self-efficacy could be more effective health policy role models for nursing students, which could lead to an increase in a student nurse’s political astuteness and political self-efficacy. A nurse who is more knowledgeable and confident about a health policy topic could be better equipped to participate in health policy creation and engagement, thereby improving overall health through policies derived from front-line health care workers.