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Nursing Student Serves as Policy Intern for Idaho Public Health Association

Vanessa Potoski, a senior School of Nursing student, is currently serving as the policy intern for the Idaho Public Health Association (IPHA). Potoski has been monitoring public health issues that have arisen in the 2013 Legislative Session and producing updates for IPHA’s members. She also tracks the progress of appropriate legislation throughout the session and prepares an end of session report for IPHA members.

Potoski learned of the internship opportunity through her community nursing course faculty, Molly Prengaman, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. Potoski became interested in health policy in fall 2012 while enrolled in Nursing 420: Policy, Power and Voice. During the course, the students learned that nurses have an obligation to participate in policy formation at all levels as a way to advocate for their patients.

While learning about the legislative process through her internship, Potoski enjoys observing statehouse committee meetings and hearings. She finds following the progress on bills relating to the Affordable care Act particularly interesting.

After completing her undergraduate nursing degree, Potoski hopes to enroll in the Masters in Nursing of Populations at Boise State. She is interested in developing her master’s project to promote the health of caregivers, who care for their loved ones at home. Ultimately, Potoski wants to work in health education, health promotion, and prevention of disease.