NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor: Population Health Policy Advocacy Sample 1

Analysis of Position Papers for Vulnerable Populations

Vulnerable populations are usually disadvantaged by internal or external factors that are challenging to control. However, careful consideration of these factors can help manage them and prevent them. Healthcare providers are tasked with observing and analyzing healthcare data and scenarios to help them implement policies and improve healthcare delivery in these vulnerable populations. Opioid crisis (addiction and withdrawal problems) among veterans is the focus of this essay.

NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor

Position in Veteran’s Opioid Crisis

Opioid addiction is a growing concern and a significant burden among veterans. White males are the most affected. According to the CDC, opioid addiction is a chronic issue that affects both active users and those individuals willing to stop due to the myriad consequences of opioid use and withdrawal (CDC, 2022). Opioid use is associated with emotional instability and mental illnesses.

Veterans are exposed to harsh conditions such as separation from families and fatal wounds. They are given opioid analgesics due to their chronic severe pain from ballistic injuries in combat. In addition, these individuals may suffer from a lack of funds after resigning from active duty and thus result in drug abuse, exposing them to the opioid crisis. They have a high chance (twice likely) of dying from opioid overdose than normal civilians (CDC, 2021).

According to the CDC, over 39% of opioid overdose deaths are reported from this population. In addition, over 80% of all overdose deaths are opioid-related, and more than 48,000 were reported to abuse opioids in 2020 (CDC, 2021). CDC reports that the burden of the opioid crisis has been rising gradually, with a 30% rise from 2019 to 2020 (CDC, 2021).

The burden of the opioid epidemic should be stopped to retain veterans’ health. Individuals continue to struggle with opioid addiction despite taking the medications for the right purposes. These individuals obtain injuries serving the nation and should thus receive empowerment to access resources in their recovery journey from addiction. In addition, new guidelines for pain management using alternative drugs are vital to prevent the crisis from rising further.

Interprofessional Teams in Veteran’s Opioid Crisis

Professionals’ teams in the healthcare sector are vital in decision-making and developing effective interventions to improve healthcare delivery. Nurses, doctors, and pharmacists are the individuals of interest in this scenario. Pharmacists are involved in tracking prescriptions for harm reduction.

Nurses and doctors are involved in risk and side effects assessment and the prescription of interventions that prevent the development of opioid use disorder and the worsening of the already high opioid crisis. These professionals approach to care from different perspectives, but they all focus on promoting the holistic health of individuals (Moirano et al., 2020). They are all integral to the interprofessional team, and their inputs are vital in enhancing the success of interventions.

The interprofessional team approach is the best for managing this condition in the veteran population for various reasons. The interprofessional team will discuss the issue and bring their diversified perspectives, further improving the position views. The views from the various professionals will enhance the quality of the produced proposal increasing its applicability and possibility of implementation.

The proposed solution will also be of optimal effect due to the holistic approach by incorporating views from all professionals. These views will also enhance buy-in from the various health and non-health professionals because their perspectives are included in the decision-making process. The professionals will thus help gain buy-in from professionals in their respective professions. The interprofessional team will streamline workflow and save time.

Moirano et al. (2020) note that professionals share duties in preparation, implementation, evaluation, and monitoring depending on the different professional’s knowledge and skills. Division and specialization of labor evident in interprofessional teams are efficient and effective in managing patients. The interprofessional team will thus play major roles in designing, implementing, managing change, and evaluating and monitoring the new changes.

Supporting Evidence in Managing Veteran’s Opioid Crisis

Reputable bodies such as NACADA, CDC, and WHO have raised concerns about the opioid crisis among veterans. The Veteran’s Affairs Department has intervened in various instances that include safe prescription practices (Buprenorphine in place of other opioids). Hero’s Smile and the CDC have raised concerns, too, through availing data and resources to enable the government to respond to the opioid crisis among the veterans (Dembek et al., 2020). Individuals have conducted studies on the current state of the opioid crisis among veterans. Others have attempted to develop or assess current interventions that address the opioid crisis among veterans.

Rhee and Rosenheck (2019) conducted a randomized control trial and compared the burden of the opioid crisis among the male veterans compared to the rest of the population. The study shows a significant difference between the two populations due to various risk exposures. According to Rhee and Rosenheck (2019), the opioid crisis is worse in veterans and attacks abusers and individuals affected by the unsafe analgesic prescription practice. They identify safe prescription practices and veterans support groups as best practices to address the crisis.

Pazdera et al. (2019) note that veterans have high exposure to opioid use and addiction due to the high prevalence of chronic pain. The study evaluated a community opioid prevention project that focused on determining individuals at risk for opioid addiction and those already affected and getting the much-needed resources. The results and methodologies of the study show that addressing the veteran’s opioid crisis will require interventions from opioid use safe practices, opioid addiction early detection and access to resources to overcome the addiction and assist them in their recovery process.

The study’s project can be used to develop policies and interventions to curb the crisis. A study by Minegishi et al. (2019) shows that healthcare technology such as the clinical decision support system can help healthcare providers perform safe prescription practices. The Stratification Tool for Opioid Risk Mitigation (STORM) is a vital tool used by the veterans’ affairs to determine risks for opioid use disorder and mitigate them before they wreak havoc on individuals.

Minengish et al. (2019) show that STORM should be implemented in clinical practice and utilized for the health of the veterans and the general population. Dembek et al. (2020) explain that the social and economic implications of opioid crisis are estimated at around $500 million and threaten military and national security. The crisis is worsened by the mental illnesses associated with hardships in the military.

Turvey et al. (2020) show that community resources in urban and rural areas can be utilized to address the opioid use crisis among veterans. The study showed that community resources, in collaboration with responsible bodies such as the veterans’ health administration, increase access to rehabilitation services and social support to halt the high rates of addiction, death, and poor-quality life among veterans.

Bratberg et al. (2020) remind us of the overarching roles of pharmacists in promoting recovery, reducing harm, preventing, and treating opioid use disorder among veterans. The researchers emphasize the importance of their involvement in availing emergency drugs, safe prescription, and preventing harm through appropriate doses, evidence that resonates with findings from other studies.

These studies show that opioid use is a problem among veterans, a problem that either begins on active duty or when they are released from active duty. Interventions to manage the crisis include safe prescription practices, risk identification, early identification of addiction, community support and other resources to support their recovery journey. These studies fully support my position, and utilizing these resources will help adequately address the opioid issue. The resources will be integral in detoxification to help overcome opioid addiction while avoiding withdrawal symptoms and their associated effects on the quality of life.

Conflicting Evidence to Approaches in Managing Veterans’ Opioid Crisis

Some literature provides conflicting evidence about the effectiveness of community resources in managing veterans’ opioid use. According to Filteau et al. (2021), community resources lack support from the veterans’ health department, making it difficult to increase access to resources. The study provides conflicting evidence that utilizing community resources to manage the disorder may be challenging.

Veterans are also unaware of these resources hence their decreased utilization. Robust education and increasing awareness among veterans and officers on active duty will increase their awareness and enable them to fight for their rights to proper treatment. In addition, garnering the Veteran Affairs department support will enhance the success of these interventions.

Despite the huge opioid use and addiction problem, Vadivelu et al. (2018) state that most professionals lack the skills and knowledge to prescribe medications without patients’ developing tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Thus, healthcare technology advancements such as STORM in the clinical decision support system and education of the healthcare providers are vital before the implementation of these various interventions.

Vadivelu et al. (2018) explain that veterans and the rest of the population are vulnerable and may not have the knowledge to question care providers and do not realize it when developing opioid addiction. The results are catastrophic, hence the need for robust healthcare providers education on safe practices if the opioid crisis will be adequately addressed using said interventions. These studies introduce vital perspectives and help predict avoidable future failures.


The opioid crisis among veterans is a silent killer that should be addressed. Opioid overdoses are the leading causes of injury and overdose deaths, as seen above. The US Department of Veteran Affairs and other bodies such as the CDC are vital players in ensuring the situation is well-managed. A multidisciplinary team approach is the best for managing the condition because the condition affects various life cohorts that require perspectives from all professionals.

The focus of the interventions is to prevent opioid use disorder through safe practices, risk identification, and availing resources for recovery in veterans already affected by the opioid crisis. Conflicting evidence shows the ineffectiveness of community resources and a lack of knowledge among healthcare workers and veterans that hinder the effectiveness of already laid strategies. Thus, vital considerations should be delegated by the interprofessional team to ensure the issue is adequately addressed and the veterans lie quality lives.


Bratberg, J. P., Smothers, Z. P., Collins, K., Erstad, B., Ruiz Veve, J., & Muzyk, A. J. (2020). Pharmacists and the opioid crisis: A narrative review of pharmacists’ practice roles. Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, 3(2), 478-484.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (2021). Opioids. The Drug Overdose Epidemic: Behind the Numbers. Data Overview.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (2022). Opioids. Understanding the Opioid Overdose Epidemic.

Dembek, Z. F., Chekol, T., & Wu, A. (2020). The opioid epidemic: challenge to military medicine and national security. Military medicine, 185(5-6), e662-e667.

Filteau, M. R., Green, B., & Jones, K. (2021). Barriers to Community Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders among Rural Veterans. Journal of Veterans Studies, 7(3).

Minegishi, T., Frakt, A. B., Garrido, M. M., Gellad, W. F., Hausmann, L. R., Lewis, E. T., Pizer, S. D., Trafton, J. A., & Oliva, E. M. (2019). Randomized program evaluation of the Veterans Health Administration Stratification Tool for Opioid Risk Mitigation (STORM): A research and clinical operations partnership to examine effectiveness. Substance abuse, 40(1), 14-19.

Moirano, R., Sánchez, M. A., & Štěpánek, L. (2020). Creative interdisciplinary collaboration: A systematic literature review. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 35, 100626.

Pazdera, M., Lor, K. B., Winstead, O., Hamberger, L. K., Curry, B., Franco, Z., O’Connor, S., Gollin-Graves, M., Hurley, R., Gray, T., & Ahmed, S. M. (2021). Addressing Opioid Misuse Among Veterans: A Peer-Delivered Opioid Prevention Curriculum. International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 9(1), 31319.

Rhee, T. G., & Rosenheck, R. A. (2019). Comparison of opioid use disorder among male veterans and non‐veterans: disorder rates, socio‐demographics, co‐morbidities, and quality of life. The American journal on addictions, 28(2), 92-100.

Turvey, C. L., Lund, B. C., Jones, D., & Arndt, S. (2020). Community treatment for opioid use disorders in urban and rural veterans. The Journal of Rural Health, 36(2), 167-176.

Vadivelu, N., Kai, A. M., Kodumudi, V., Sramcik, J., & Kaye, A. D. (2018). The opioid crisis: a comprehensive overview. Current pain and headache reports, 22(3), 1-6.

NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor Example 2

Current state of Quality care for Young Adults affected by Opioid addiction

Opioid addiction is a serious problem in the world. The use of high potent opioid medications for pain are at high risk for opioid addiction. Legal and illegal opioid medications are vulnerable within the young adult population due to their vulnerability of peer pressure and identity crisis. Individuals within this population will take drugs to “fit in” and “be cool” without understanding the harmful effects it does to their body and the high risk of addiction. 56.8 million people filled a prescription for an opioid in 2017, with thirty percent of them between the age of 18 to 30 years old (Romberg et al., 2019).

NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor

Without proper interventions to decrease the amount of people using and abusing opioid medications, opioid-related deaths would increase. It’s important to focus on the young adult population as they represent approximately thirty percent of opioid users. NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor

The Necessity of Health Policy Development for opioid addiction

Recent statistics from the Centers Disease Control and Prevention indicate a four percent increase in age-adjusted overdose deaths from 2018 to 2019 (CDC, 2018 NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor). It is imperative to implement new measures to reduce the incidence of opioid abuse, overdose, and deaths in locations throughout the country. The Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid epidemic in 2017 in light of the staggering rates of opioid users and opioid-related deaths.

Over the past four years, there has been no significant decrease in opioid overdoses, requiring current policies and procedures to be changed. The Department of Education currently has interventions in place to reduce the prevalence of substance abuse among the youth such as classroom lessons, school-wide prevention programs, peer leadership programs, and crisis intervention.

The effectiveness of these programs is not evaluated in terms of their ability to decrease opioid abuse among young adults. Health care curriculum currently does not have enough content covering substance abuse “to adequately prepare future clinicians to intervene at the clinical and policy levels with regards to opioid use disorder and pain” (Aronowitz et al, 2021 NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor)

Improving the Quality of care in treating patients with opioid addiction

Healthcare educational institutions and hospital organizations can improve the quality of care of opioid-dependent patients by strengthening content with regards to opioid use disorder. By understanding the severity of the opioid epidemic, healthcare providers will be able to properly treat patients with substance addiction without the stigma associated with substance abuse.

The dangers of opioid use can be clarified for the national public and healthcare providers when education is enforced and reinforced frequently. If young adults are educated about the serious consequences of using substances, it can reduce substance abuse among this vulnerable population.

Providers with the ability to prescribe opioid medications can carefully weigh the risks and benefits of prescribing them, as well as provide other pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain management techniques. Additionally, signs of misuse and addiction are explained to the clients to help them avoid overusing. Long-term opioid users should be tapered weekly because of a high rate of misuse. NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor

How the policy will support achievement of desired outcomes

New policy and procedures are necessary to decrease the incidence of opioid misuse, abuse, overdose, and death. The desired outcomes of these new interventions is to decrease the over-prescription of opioid medications for pain relief, reduce the incidence of opioid overdose and deaths within communities with high opioid overdose and death rates, and combat the opioid epidemic within the healthcare system. As more young adults are educated on the consequences of opioid misuse, it can decrease the current astounding rates of opioid overdoses in the young adult population.

Policy Development advocacy

Developing policies can be implemented in other settings such as the department of education, mental health rehabilitation centers for substance abuse, and methadone clinics. New policies for using opioids can improve the plan of care for our future clients. Ensuring that undergraduate nursing students receive education focused on substance use disorders helps to reduce stigmatizing attitudes and increase competence and confidence in managing patients with these diseases (Aronowitz et al, 2021 NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor).

Resources for NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor

Aronowitz, S. V., Compton, P., & Schmidt, H. D. (2021). Innovative approaches to educating future clinicians about opioids, pain, addiction and health policy. Pain Management Nursing, 22(1), 11–14.

Centers for Disease Control.Drug Overdose Deaths. Centers for Disease Control, 2018. Date accessed: April 1, 2020

Romberg, A. R., Rath, J. M., Miller Lo, E. J., Mayo, A., Liu, M., Vallone, D. M., & Hair, E. C. (2019). Young Adults’ Opioid Prescription History and Opioid Misuse Perceptions. American Journal of Health Behavior, 43(2), 361–372.

NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor : Population Health Policy Advocacy

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

  • Write a letter to the editor of a scholarly journal. The length and format of the letter is dictated by your choice of journal.

NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor Introduction

Note: Each assessment in this course builds on the work you completed in the previous assessment. Therefore, you must complete the assessments in this course in the order in which they are presented. NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor

Advocating for new policies is an important aspect of the master’s-prepared nurse. For new policies to be compelling they need to be supported by evidence. Supporting data can be used to illustrate why new policies and interventions are needed to help address a specific health issue. Compelling data can help sway the stakeholders and gain support for your policy.

Another aspect of advocacy is disseminating new policies and interventions outside of the immediate care environment. This can be done by reaching out to professional organizations as well as academic and professional journals. A letter to the editor is one strategy for disseminating information to a wider audience and to potentially enlist support throughout the wider professional community.

Professional Context

Nurses have the opportunity to use their skills and develop programs to keep individuals and communities healthy. Health is complex, however, and the nurse needs to possess strong advocacy skills to successfully support a cause or interest. The American Nurses Association’s (2015) code of ethics describes the responsibility of a nurse to include working through and with appropriate stakeholders to advocate for the health of people in and out of the work environment.

To be an effective advocate, there are several important abilities a nurse must possess, including problem-solving, communication, and influencing others. One way a nurse can advocate to a broader population is through effective letter writing, both to legislators and through the media, such as with editorials and research articles.


American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements.


Throughout this course, you have focused on a specific health issue occurring within a specific population. You researched position papers regarding this health concern, and you developed a health policy proposal to positively impact the health of the affected individuals. It is now time to reach a greater audience regarding your policy proposal. NURS-FPX6026 Letter to the Editor

You are going to write a letter to the editor of a peer-reviewed nursing journal. Choose from one of the journals in the Ultimate List of Nursing Journals and go to the journal’s Web site to find out the requirements for submitting an editorial, such as format requirements, topics, and word counts. Make sure you select a nursing journal that covers the topic about which you are going to write. If you want to use another journal that is not on this list, please make sure the journal does address health care, because this is the purpose of the assessment.

Also Read: FP6103 Professional Development Plan Paper