In 1989 the Tel Aviv University Department of Nursing introduced a non‐thesis option for the master's degree. This decision was reached in order to enable students who so wished to undertake a major practice project instead of a research study, and to promote involvement in health policy development. Projects focused on health policy issues in administration, education or clinical practice. Students participated in a weekly seminar and conducted field work under the guidance of an expert practitioner/tutor. Evaluation of the project revealed greater awareness of policy issues, high satisfaction by students, faculty and tutors, increase of student admissions by 50%, and enhanced partnership between the university and nursing service/education in the community.