The Nurse as an Advocate
In a Microsoft Word document of 5-6 pages formatted in APA style, you will describe the advocacy process. Whether nurses are advocating for their patients, health care, and/or policies that improve people’s lives, the advocacy processes have commonalities that transcend the subject of their advocacy. There are also differences, although these differences may be more nuanced than obvious.
Review the following chapters from your course textbook:
Taking Action: Nurse, Educator, and Legislator: My Journey to the Delaware Senate
Taking Action: A Nurse in the Board Room
Respond to the following questions based on your readings:
Describe what you believe to be the drivers for each of the individual advocates.
What factors led the individuals to become advocates?
Discuss the challenges that each of the individuals identified in their writings.
Analyze these drivers and challenges and compare them with your own experience to date as an advocate.
In what ways do you believe you can expand your advocacy skills within the next five years?
The Nurse as an Advocate
Nurses advocate for communities, patients, as well as other health providers. In order to build effective advocacy, all nurses must play a part. Advising or consulting with other nurses to achieve the best possible treatment is what nurses do when they advocate for specific patients. For example, free health screenings and illness awareness campaigns are examples of community-based initiatives that benefit individuals. Additionally, nurse leaders advocate on behalf of their teammates by promoting legislative reforms that will improve patient care. A nurse advocate’s road is not an easy one. A number of nurses have taken the lead in advocating for their patients. This paper discusses their motivations and problems, as well as strategies to improve advocacy and leadership abilities.
Delaware’s, the twenty-sixth Lt. Governor, is the first advocate. She is a registered nurse who has taken use of her role in government to push for more stringent healthcare rules and policies. Her role as a nurse advocate was bolstered by her involvement in volunteer organizations, her work in the public health sector, and her family’s political connections. She is the daughter of a prominent political family (Hall-Long, 2020). As a result, she grew up with a strong feeling of responsibility and service because of her family’s structure. She also worked as a nurse in the field of public health. Because of her employment, she had frequent contact with residents in the neighborhood and was able to empathize with their problems. Finally, she has given back to the community in a variety of ways. She gained advocacy and leadership abilities that she has continued to use as a result of her voluntary engagement.
Alicia’s desire to help others derives from her volunteer activities and leadership roles as a young woman. As a volunteer leader, she was able to obtain a better understanding of the demands of representational roles. Her ability to advocate policy and large-scale management actions stems from her early career accumulation of leadership skills. Rita Wray began her nursing career working in a hospital as a patient care assistant. She was exposed to the struggle of other nurses and patients via her work as a primary nurse. As a result, she was inspired to work her way up the ranks and make a difference in the lives of others. She decided to go into advocacy for herself as a nurse. Her new position required her to constantly keep her clients’ best interests in mind. While serving as an advocate, she built a structure in which patients are always put first.
Drive for Linda Burnes Bolton comes from early involvement in leadership and her family. She is the first of nine children. She had to learn to listen and manage her younger siblings as a first-born. This allowed her to build her basic advocacy and leadership abilities at home. Her involvement in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) grew over time (YMCA). There, she was pushed to take on more leadership roles and become an advocate for social causes.
In the course of their nursing advocacy careers, all four nurse advocates have encountered difficulties. As a nurse, the first advocate admits that she often finds it difficult to integrate her political responsibilities with her clinical responsibilities. People’s perceptions of politicians are influenced by their party allegiance and the areas in which they serve. She says it is hard to change people’s minds about your real motives when they already have a preconceived notion about you (Mason et al., 2020). She also has to contend with the demands of her job as a nurse advocate in the midst of her demanding political agenda. As a result, her political status allows her to represent nurses, but it also poses obstacles to his accomplishment. For Dr. Catherine Alicia, the most difficult part of her career was getting into a position of authority. This meant she could not use her administration abilities in a way that made her stand out to others. At first, the best she could hope for was to be an attendee at a neighborhood meeting of the board in the Bronx (Mason et al., 2020). As a result of this setback, she pursued leading roles until she was finally recognized as a key figure in her local area. There is a long road to nursing advocacy and leadership that Linda and Wray face. As a bedside nurse, Wray worked her way up to nurse educator and managerial roles before branching out on her own as an entrepreneur nurse (Mason et al., 2020). In the end, her trip was critical to her achievement. Each function has its own set of limits that may have discouraged. She persisted, though. Bolton’s career began with the YWCA, where he served as a volunteer. Before obtaining her present positions, she served on a number of local nursing groups (Mason et al., 2020). She had to overcome both social and professional boundaries in order to learn from each job.
Discussion and Comparison of Drivers and Challenges
Many of the activists’ motivations and difficulties resonate with me. Volunteering as a main nurse and gaining early leadership experience are two of the most appealing motivators. Access obstacles, opposing interests, and a demanding career path are some of the usual challenges faced by advocates. Young nurses’ perspectives, decisions, and level of ultimate success in nursing leadership and advocacy are influenced by a variety of factors and challenges. Volunteerism is a key factor in promoting advocacy. The ability to use and learn new abilities is one of its most valuable features. Volunteers are needed in a wide variety of roles across many institutions (Roberts et al., 2018). Volunteering means being exposed to the many areas of the profession.
When I was in college, I worked as a nursing assistant at the local hospital in my spare time. My responsibilities were straightforward; however, they gave me the opportunity to gain from specialists and get firsthand knowledge of what it is to work in the field outside of college. It is also a great way to meet new people and see the world from a different perspective (Roberts et al., 2018). Meeting diverse specialists at the facility provided me with valuable information that I will utilize in my profession. I also saw the difficulties that healthcare workers face every day. My volunteer experience is a bit different from that of the advocates who focused on community and leadership positions earlier. Even though I would want to have the opportunity, I am confident that my experience, particularly prior to completing nursing school, will provide the groundwork for my future advocacy and leadership responsibilities.
Additionally, primary nursing responsibilities and early leadership roles assist one to identify barriers they intend to address in the near future (Mason et al., 2020). The learning curve and the practice of advocating are both full of difficulties. For example, organizations have a hard time accepting younger recruits, even volunteers, because of strict organizational structures. It took numerous applications to the local healthcare facility before I was accepted for a volunteer role. Continuing students and recent grads are less likely to receive leadership and advocacy skills because of these admissions hurdles. One must thus practice patience and grab any chance that comes their way. As one moves through the ranks from bedside nursing to national advocacy, patience is also required. Finally, advocacy is hindered by multitasking and conflicting interests. Politicians and professionals who want to have an impact on healthcare policy must rise to the top of their fields. Although these perspectives involve moderation and cooperation, they are necessary. The demands of nursing employment might make it difficult to combine one’s responsibilities with those of the job.
As a professional, the next five years are important to my development. I aim to take considerable steps toward becoming a global advocate for nursing. To achieve my goals, I will need to expand my knowledge and abilities. By pursuing my studies and expanding my horizons, I intend to accomplish my objectives. New possibilities arise as a result of education (Lewinski & Simmons, 2018). When it comes to nursing leadership, a master’s degree is required. Taking these classes will provide me the conceptual underpinning I need to shape my approach to leadership. I am certain that I can find a method to combine my profession and study even though master’s degrees need exceptional time management. My long-term goal is to broaden the scope of my professional experience. More than one profession is represented by each of the advocates discussed. As a result, I cannot ignore the importance of broadening one’s professional options. Community and public health nursing will be among the new professions I’ll be pursuing. Participating in local political forums will also help me develop my leadership and advocacy abilities, so I’ll be attending as many as possible.
There are certain common aspects and obstacles in nursing advocacy that are addressed by the nurse advocates. Almost all nursing students and practitioners may agree with their remarks. In addition, they serve as role models for people who want to make their careers better. I wish to emulate their advice and become a well-known and respected nursing leader. I want to be patient while I work to improve my knowledge and skills in order to supervise policy and strategy changes that will shape the future of the nursing profession.
Hall-Long, B. (2020). TAKING ACTION: Nurse, Educator, and Legislator: My Journey to the Delaware General Assembly and as Lieutenant Governor. Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care-E-Book, 388.
Lewinski, A. A., & Simmons, L. A. (2018). Nurse knowledge and engagement in health policy making: Findings from a pilot study. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 49(9), 407-415. https://journals.healio.com/doi/abs/10.3928/00220124-20180813-06
Mason, D. J., Perez, A., Mclemore, M. R., & Dickson, E. L. (2020). Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care (8th edition).
Roberts, M. E., Wheeler, K. J., Tyler, D. O., & Padden, D. L. (2018). Precepting nurse practitioner students: A new view—Results of two national surveys of nurse practitioner preceptors. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(8), 484-491. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/2327-6924.12482