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Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

Nurses play an important role in advocacy. This paper is an interview transcript of my responses to interview questions about the role of nurses in the design and implementation of an online nutrition and exercises educational program for overweight and obese patients.

Tell us about a healthcare program that you offer in your practice. What are the program’s costs and expected outcomes?

Our practice’s healthcare program is a 10-week online nutrition and physical exercise educational program on weight loss and fitness for our patients, particularly those who are overweight or obese. The program will be designed to provide weekly 3-hour training sessions for overweight and obese patients in order to help them with their weight loss and fitness journeys, as well as to improve their quality of life. We conducted a quality improvement assessment and discovered that approximately 30% of our patients, particularly those with chronic illnesses such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems, have a high BMI, meaning they are overweight or obese. As a result, effective strategies for addressing this health concern are required to avoid the health consequences.

The total direct cost of implementing this program is estimated to be $50,000. The cost of program incentives such as e-books, t-shirts, resistance bands, pledge sheets, and certificates will be included. The incentives will be used to motivate participants to take part. The total cost of incentives is estimated to be $1500. Other costs include the average total cost of recruiting and outreach materials, which is $100, and the personal cost of program facilitators, which is estimated to be $48,400. Facilitators’ responsibilities include program recruitment, program presentation, and participant registration. The remaining $1,600 will be used to cover any additional costs incurred during program design and implementation.

This project’s expected outcomes include increased knowledge, attitude, and practice of healthy eating habits and physical activity among participants, as well as eventual weight loss and improvement in quality of life and health outcomes. This will specifically include the prevention of health risks associated with overweight and obesity, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, and some cancers such as breast, endometrial, prostate, ovarian, gallbladder, colon, and liver cancer (Keke et al., 2015).

Who is your intended audience?

This program’s target population is overweight and obese patients, particularly those with chronic diseases. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 55 with a BMI of 26 or higher will be included. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight adults as having a BMI greater than or equal to 25, while obese adults have a BMI greater than or equal to 30. (Seidell & Halberstadt, 2015).

What is the nurse’s role in contributing to the design of this healthcare program? Can you give some examples?

Nurses’ roles in providing input for program design include informing and engaging program providers and users. The nurses devote a significant amount of time to providing direct care to patients, allowing them to better understand their needs and preferences for weight loss and nutrition programs. The program can be designed to fit and meet the needs of the users by incorporating the nurses’ insights. For example, a nurse may inform program implementers that patients prefer pictorial, graphic, and video presentations; or a nurse may inform program implementers about cultural practices against certain foods, drinks, or exercises in order to ensure the program is culturally sensitive. Nurses could also contribute to the creation of educational program content. Preparing PowerPoint presentations, brochures, and flyers with standardized nursing language that providers and users can easily understand and use, for example. Given their expertise in nursing research, nurses would contribute to the search for evidence-based literature to support the program’s implementation.

What is your role as an advocate for this healthcare program’s target population? Do you have any say over design decisions? How else can you have an impact on design?

As a nurse, my primary role as a target population advocate is to advocate for improved and better health outcomes and quality of life through health promotion and disease prevention. Sure, I have a say in the design decisions that go into making sure the program covers all important aspects of health, nutrition, and physical fitness. I also have an impact on the design by enlisting the support of the organization’s leadership and team members to participate and engage in the program design.

What is the role of the nurse in the implementation of healthcare programs? How does this role differ between healthcare program design and implementation? Can you give some examples?

The nurse’s role in program implementation will include assessing the program’s performance, adherence to clinical practice guidelines and current evidence, usability, testing its performance, and acceptability to the targeted population (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). The nurse will also check off and communicate any inconsistencies or concerns that arise as a result of program implementation. This role is clearly distinct from the role in design; in design, the key role is to provide insights into the system’s blueprint, whereas, in the implementation phase, the role is more akin to testing the program.

Which members of a healthcare team do you believe are most important in implementing a program? Could you please explain why?

The nurses whose roles have been mentioned are nursing leaders and managers to lead the program implementation and manage any problems, challenges, or barriers (Fleiszer, Semenic et al., 2016); nursing technology informaticists to assist in designing and developing the online educational platform; nutritionists to assist in developing healthy dietary programs for the participants; and physical fitness trainers.


Nurses clearly play critical roles in the design and implementation of healthcare programs. Nurses must constantly advocate for the implementation of health promotion and disease prevention programs.


Fleiszer, A. R., Semenic, S. E., Ritchie, J. A., Richer, M. C., & Denis, J. L. (2016). Nursing unit leaders’ influence on the long‐term sustainability of evidence‐based practice improvements. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(3), 309-318. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12320.

Keke, L. M., Samouda, H., Jacobs, J., Di Pompeo, C., Lemdani, M., Hubert, H., … & Guinhouya, C. (2015). Body mass index and childhood obesity classification systems: A comparison of the French, International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) and World Health Organization (WHO) references. Revue d’epidemiologie et de sante publique, 63(3), 173- 182.

Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 36(1), 12. DOI: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000308.

Seidell, J. C., & Halberstadt, J. (2015). The global burden of obesity and the challenges of prevention. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 66(Suppl. 2), 7-12. DOI: 10.1159/000375143


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As their names imply, the honeyguide bird and the honey badger both share an affinity for honey. Honeyguide birds specialize in finding beehives but struggle to access the honey within. Honey badgers are well-equipped to raid beehives but cannot always find them. However, these two honey-loving species have learned to collaborate on an effective means to meet their objectives. The honeyguide bird guides honey badgers to newly discovered hives. Once the honey badger has ransacked the hive, the honeyguide bird safely enters to enjoy the leftover honey.

Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation

Much like honeyguide birds and honey badgers, nurses and health professionals from other specialty areas can—and should—collaborate to design effective programs. Nurses bring specialties to the table that make them natural partners to professionals with different specialties. When nurses take the requisite leadership in becoming involved throughout the healthcare system, these partnerships can better design and deliver highly effective programs that meet objectives.

In this Assignment, you will practice this type of leadership by advocating for a healthcare program. Equally as important, you will advocate for a collaborative role of the nurse in the design and implementation of this program. To do this, assume you are preparing to be interviewed by a professional organization/publication regarding your thoughts on the role of the nurse in the design and implementation of new healthcare programs.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Resources and reflect on your thinking regarding the role of the nurse in the design and implementation of new healthcare programs.
  • Select a healthcare program within your practice and consider the design and implementation of this program.
  • Reflect on advocacy efforts and the role of the nurse in relation to healthcare program design and implementation.
  • Review the User Guide for Uploading Media in your Blackboard Classroom by accessing the Kaltura Media Uploader on the Left Navigation Bar in preparation to record your narrated video or audio for this Assignment.

The Assignment: (2–3 pages)

In a 2- to 3-page paper, create an interview transcript of your responses to the following interview questions:

  • Tell us about a healthcare program, within your practice. What are the costs and projected outcomes of this program?
  • Who is your target population?
  • What is the role of the nurse in providing input for the design of this healthcare program? Can you provide examples?
  • What is your role as an advocate for your target population for this healthcare program? Do you have input into design decisions? How else do you impact design?
  • What is the role of the nurse in healthcare program implementation? How does this role vary between the design and implementation of healthcare programs? Can you provide examples?
  • Who are the members of a healthcare team that you believe is most needed to implement a program? Can you explain why?

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