To become a nursing advocate, identify causes, issues, or needs where YOU can exert influence.
Steps to becoming an advocate include the following:
- Identify a problem that interests you.
- Research the subject and select an evidence-based intervention.
- Network with experts who are, or could be, involved in making the change.
- Work hard for change.
After you have identified a topic of interest, get involved. Volunteering to participate in committees that review practice policies, joining a professional nursing organization, researching best practices, or reviewing health policy agendas of elected officials are great first steps to becoming an advocate. Membership in state and national professional organizations provides access to current legislative and policy initiatives that impact the nursing profession. These organizations publish public policy agendas each year and keep members updated on ways to be involved, progress towards the shared goals, and promote legislation that impacts health care and health care delivery.
Nurses are in a powerful position to be effective advocates. As frontline care providers, nurses provide a unique and knowledgeable perspective on health care delivery, client experience, and the work environment. As the largest sector of the health care workforce, nurses have the opportunity to influence policy at every level of decision-making. There are many ways for nurses to create change when acting as advocates that can lead to improved quality of care, better outcomes for patients, and safe work environments for nurses. If every nurse was an active advocate for the profession, think of the difference we could make!
Review information about a new professional nursing association called the Nurse Advocacy Association.
- Olson, K. (2020, November 4). Influence through policy: Four steps you can take. Nursing Centered. https://nursingcentered.sigmanursing.org/commentary/more-commentary/Vol42_2_influence-through-policy-four-steps-you-can-take ↵