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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 504697, 7 pages
Research Article

Extent of East-African Nurse Leaders’ Participation in Health Policy Development

1Advanced Nursing Studies Programme, The Aga Khan University, P.O. Box 39340, Nairobi 00623, Kenya
2Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA), P.O. Box 392, Pretoria 0003, South Africa

Received 5 June 2012; Revised 31 July 2012; Accepted 31 July 2012

Academic Editor: Sheila Payne

Copyright © 2012 N. Shariff and E. Potgieter. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reports part of a bigger study whose aim was to develop an empowerment model that could be used to enhance nurse leaders’ participation in health policy development. A Delphi survey was applied which included the following criteria: expert panelists, iterative rounds, statistical analysis, and consensus building. The expert panelists were purposively selected and included national nurse leaders in leadership positions at the nursing professional associations, nursing regulatory bodies, ministries of health, and universities in East Africa. The study was conducted in three iterative rounds. The results reported here were gathered as part of the first round of the study and that examined the extent of nurse leaders’ participation in health policy development. Seventy-eight (78) expert panelists were invited to participate in the study, and the response rate was 47%. Data collection was done with the use of a self-report questionnaire. Data analysis was done by use of SPSS and descriptive statistics were examined. The findings indicated that nurse leaders participate in health policy development though participation is limited and not consistent across all the stages of health policy development. The recommendations from the findings are that health policy development process needs to be pluralistic and inclusive of all nurse leaders practicing in positions related to policy development and the process must be open to their ideas and suggestions.