Trends in Healthcare Policy

Trends in Healthcare Policy

Lilian Wald: New York’s and the World’s Pioneer Public Health Nurse

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Reflecting on the “what” of Lilian Wald’s strategies as per Nursing’s Policy Influence, what she used effectively were (i) becoming knowledgeable about issues (to gain knowledge and understanding, she attended New York Hospital’s school of nursing a d Woman’s Medical College), (ii) participating in community activism by being involved in the campaigns against child labor, for civil rights, and for givong women voting rights, (iii) building coalitions (she partnered with philanthropist Jacob Schiff who funded the Henry Street Settlement), (iv) contacting policy makers – she lobbied for nursing in public schools and made the New York Board of Health organise its first public nursing system, (v) shaping policy with evidence – she founded the visiting nurse services of New York and influenced policy on this aspect, (vi) obtaining appointments to influential positions (Wald was the leader of Child Welfare Committee), (vii) lobbying key individuals (Jacob Schiff for funding of the Henry Street Settlement), (viii) joining influential groups (she was instrumental in founding the Women’s Trade Union League, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), (ix) running for office – she was the first president of the National Organization for Public Health Nursing, (x) identifying policy problems and analysing solutions – saw policy gaps in hralth care and started caring for sick Lower East side community members as a visiting public health nurse, (xi) identifying goals – she saw the need for a nurse who worked for the community in their surroundings, (xii) identifying supporters and non-supporters – as in Jacob Schiff who funded her project, (xiii) and lastly, volunteering on campaigns (Wald was active in campaigns for civil rights, ending child labor, and enabling women to vote (GVSHP, 2015). Trends in Healthcare Policy


As for me, three strategies or competencies thay I have used effectively in the “what” of Nursing’s Policy Influence are as follows:

  • Identifying goals: I have identified the goal of helping my community with primary health care. This requires me to obtain my Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) as a nurse practitioner;
  • Becoming knowledgeable about issues: I have done this by joining a reputable nursing educational programme so that I gain invaluable knowledge to help me influence policy; and
  • Participating in community activism: I involve myself in causes that socially benefit my community, like campaign against gun violence.


Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation [GVSHP] (2015 September 1). New York city’s first public nurse: Lilian Wald. Retrieved 26 September 2019 from’s-first-public-nurse-lilian-wald/

Trends in Healthcare Policy


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