Washington Health Policy Institute

The Washington Health Policy Institute is an immersion experience for all Ph.D. nursing students.

One of the major objectives of the Ph.D. Program in Nursing is to prepare future leaders and scholars in health policy. The program offers the required course NUR 6030: Scholarship of Health Care Policy and Organizations that combines classroom discussion, a workshop on policy analysis writing and an immersion experience with policy analysts and experts in Washington D.C.  The Baraba H. Hagan School of Nursing and Health Sciences annually sends students and a faculty member to the nation's capital for the unique experience.

The goal of the summer policy institute is to provide practical experience in health sector policy analysis offered in Washington D.C. supported by training in policy development and analysis from the didactic and workshop activities offered on the Molloy College campus prior to the immersion experience. The Institute is co-sponsored by the School of Nursing at C.U.A. The Molloy College Ph.D. students are resident on the CU.A. campus and have mentored service learning experiences at cooperating health policy agencies in the D.C. area. Students have mentored service learning experiences at cooperating health agencies in the D.C. area.

Objectives of the Institute

The Institute focuses on four objectives that are consistent with the Molloy College School of Nursing Ph.D. Program.

  1. Provide an opportunity to do applied research on a current issue relevant to state or federal health policy.
  2. Promote insights into the policy leadership process through experience with organizational teams and health policy professionals.
  3. Expand understanding of the use of data and evidence to frame policy analysis and support policy advocacy.
  4. Support professional skills development in issue presentation and discussion.


The Institute participants should plan to spend one week in Washington D.C. in the late Spring or early Summer months. This all-inclusive experience begins with an official welcome reception followed by orientations to the program requirements, navigating public transportation and an overview of the policy resources in the nation's capital. The students use the pre-assigned activities and knowledge of policy analysis to complete a specified set of objectives in the organization to produce an expected deliverable that is customized to the preceptor's needs. On the final day, each student presents a summary of the experience, content of the organization's policy activity and description of lessons learned in their brief roles in the service learning process.

Previous Experiences in the Washington Health Policy Institute
Summer - 2011

The first cohort of the Molloy College Nursing Ph.D. students spent their week at C.U.A. in Washington D.C. in a variety of activities. Their organization assignments included the offices related to health policy in:

  • American Association of Retired Persons (A.A.R.P.)
  • Catholic Healthcare Association (C.H.A.)
  • Health Services for Children with Special Needs (H.S.C.S.N.)
  • National Nursing Centers Consortium (N.N.C.C.) - project on "Leadsafe D.C."
  • Center to Champion Nursing in America (A.A.R.P. and the Institute of Medicine [I.O.M.])
  • House Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • National Academy of Science (NAS.org) formerly, the Institure of Medicine
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)


To see a photoessay on the Washington Health Policy Institute experience - Click Here
To see a collection of short videos of the Ph.D. in Nursing students as participants in the Washington Health Policy Institute - Click Here