Incorporating a health policy practicum in a graduate training program to prepare advanced practice nursing health services researchers.
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Health services research benefits from the active engagement of researchers and policy makers from generation through to application of research-based knowledge. One approach to help graduate students learn about the policy world is through participation in a policy practicum. This is an opportunity to work for a defined period of time in a setting where policy decisions are made. This article focuses on the integration of the policy practicum into graduate nursing education for advanced practice nurses. Ten graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows who had recently completed their practicums and three policy makers who had recently supervised students in provincial, federal, and international practicum projects were invited to submit a narrative about the experience. Based on qualitative analysis of the narratives, this article outlines objectives of the practicum, the policy practicum journey, student learning, and finally, the benefits and challenges of the experience.
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