briefing note on health related issuesBriefing Note Assignment Guidelines

Weight: 15%

Learning Outcomes Addressed in this Assignment:


The purpose of the Briefing Note assignment is to practice an effective and efficient strategy to inform decision-makers about an important health issue that impacts the health of the population. This assignment involves the production of an original briefing note on a nursing, health or health care problem of interest to you. Examples of broad topic areas from which you can choose
a specific focus (see example below) include, but are not limited to:

End of life care Social determinants of health Patient Safety
Harm reduction Community-based care Chronic illness
Health human resources Aging and seniors’ care Access to care
Health system financing Care delivery models Immigrant health
Pharmaceutical policy Quality of care Non-medical cannabis use
COVID Management

example of what is meant by ‘broad topic area”:

Indigenous health in Canada

· An abundance of evidence demonstrates that Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) in Canada live with a greater percentage of serious health issues compared to the rest of the Canadian population.

On the following page, you will find examples of what is meant by “choose a
specific focus” from the broad topic area for writing your briefing note. This means you might choose
one of the following
specific focus areas
from the broad topic area, Indigenous health in Canada, for writing your briefing note:


Lower levels of education

Higher suicide rates

Inadequate, crowded housing

Higher rates of chronic illness

Higher rates of death in children due to

High rate of tuberculosis

Unsafe drinking water

Alcohol misuse


Write your Briefing Note using the following sub-headings: Audience, Issue, Background, Current Status, Key Considerations, Options, and Recommendations as below. Notice there are questions associated with each sub-heading. It may not be necessary to address each question in each sub-heading because not all may be relevant to your topic. However, you may decide to use the questions under each sub-heading questions as threads to help you frame your briefing note.
Audience: Who are you addressing in this briefing note? Be sure your briefing note is written with consideration of the target audience (please note, the audience of your briefing note is not your professor)

Issue: Short, concise statement or two about what is the specific issue is about. Who is affected by the issue? What is the significance of the issue? Why should the issue matter to the reader (audience of your briefing note)?

Background: Give a brief summary of the background events leading up to the issue.

What is the history leading up to the development of theBriefing Note Assignment – Examples

The links above provide examples of briefing notes. There are many ways of writing a briefing note.
The first example is not related to nursing but it is addressed to a person (audience), the Purpose is the issue/problem is stated concisely, the Background gives a brief history of the issue, and the Current Situation speaks to what is happening now. The Key Considerations are the 3 bulleted points in the Current Situation section. There are 3 Options related directly to and may help to solve the considerations outlined in the 3 bulleted points (Key Considerations). Note that each option provides at least one advantage and one disadvantage. This briefing note ends with a Recommendations section but in this example, only states the preferred option and does not summarize the major important points the reader should take away. Often busy decision-makers only read the last section; therefore, the writer of this briefing note lost the opportunity to quickly draw attention to and inform the decision-maker.
Alternatively, in the RNAO briefing note example, the issue relates directly to nursing but the briefing note does not follow the recommended format (Issue, Background, Current Situation, Key Considerations, Recommendations) that should be addressed in the Briefing Note Assignment guidelines. Therefore, it is suggested you use the above examples to get the general idea of how a briefing note is written
but be sure to include all of the key areas in the Briefing Note Assignment guidelines when writing your briefing note.

Notice there are no citations or reference list in these examples! For your Briefing Note assignment, you are expected to acknowledge your sources of information with citations and a complete reference list according to Conestoga College’s

Academic Integrity Policy.

Finally, you might consider the briefing note to be similar to SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendations) and similar to papers you wrote in COMM1085 (introduction/thesis statement, significance, background, 2-3 body paragraphs with support and development of the thesis, and one concluding paragraph). Consider booking an appointment with Student Success Services if you require added support with your writing skills.

Prepared by Valerie Abbott, March 2019, in consultation with Lisa Trimble, Teaching and Learning, Conestoga CollegeBriefing Note Assignment Rubric Student Name:
Weight: 15% Student Number:

Criteria from Associated Course and Unit Outcomes

Unique and Distinguished

Unique and Distinguished



Needs Developing


Fails to meet requirements /Inadequate
(<64%) Considerable evidence of original thinking – synthesizes information from high quality sources from and draws own clear, logical, and compelling conclusions; sophisticated ability to analyze, integrate, and extend course concepts; outstanding grasp of subject matter. Evidence of original thinking – good ability to make appropriate links between course concepts; draws own logical and fairly compelling conclusions from quality information sources; solid grasp of subject matter evident. Some evidence of original thinking – fair ability to make appropriate links between course concepts; draws own conclusions from information sources; arguments may not always be clear, compelling, or logical; some grasp of subject matter evident. Minimal to no evidence of original thinking – weak/no ability to draw own conclusions; arguments rarely clear, logical or compelling; little to no capacity to make appropriate links between information sources and course concepts; very little/no credible information sources used to support argument; little to no grasp of subject matter evident. Impact Briefing note is engaging, persuasive and moving such that the reader feels compelled to take action and solve the issue immediately. (18-20 points) Briefing note is engaging, persuasive. The reader feels action is required to solve the issue now. (16-17.9 points) Briefing note is mostly engaging and persuasive. The reader may feel to some degree that action is required to solve the issue in the near future. (14-15.9 points) Briefing note is not always engaging and persuasive. The reader feels little motivation to take action and solve the issue in the distant future (13-13.9 points) Briefing note is neither engaging nor persuasive. The reader feels little to no motivation to ever take action and solve the issue. (0-12.9 points) Quality of Briefing Note Clear, accurate summary of the topic supported by detailed and relevant discussion in all content areas. Key message clear, and supported by accurate, detailed discussion. (9-10 points) Topic summarized well with an accurate and complete discussion evident in all content areas. Key message clear and mostly supported by accurate, detailed discussion. (8-8.9 points) Although topic was fairly well-summarized, discussion was not always relevant and sometimes lacked detail in the content areas. Key message could be inferred with support of accompanying discussion. (7-7.9 points) Explanations of key areas have several inaccuracies or are incomplete. A few minor key content areas of are missed and/or may have some ambiguity. (6.5-6.9 p

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