Nurse Leader with Advocacy

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Nurse Leader with Advocacy

Nurse Leader with Advocacy


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Rate yourself using the results from the “Nurse Manager Skills Inventory”:

Write a reflection of 750-1,000 words in which you identify your strengths and weaknesses related to the four content areas below:

  1. Personal and professional accountability
  2. Career planning
  3. Personal journey disciplines
  4. Reflective practice reference behaviors/tenets

Discuss how you will use your current leadership skill set to advocate for change in your workplace. Identify one personal goal for your leadership growth and discuss your implementation plan to achieve that goal.


Every nurse has the opportunity to make a positive impact on the profession through day-to-day advocacy for nurses and the nursing profession. In this article the author ; describes  every nurse can employ to advocate for a safe and healthy work environment; and explains how nurses can advocate for nursing as part of their daily activity whether they are , , or . The advocacy practices discussed are applicable whether advocating on one’s own behalf, for colleagues at the unit level, or for issues at the organizational or system level.

Citation: Tomajan, K., (January 31, 2012) “Advocating for Nurses and Nursing” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 17, No. 1, Manuscript 4.

DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol17No01Man04

Key words: advancing the profession, advocacy, advocate, change management collaboration, communication, decision making, healthy work environments, nurse educators, nurse leaders, shared governance, staff involvement, influence, problem solving

…changes can challenge resource allocation decisions and adversely affect the work environment [and] can also create opportunities for nurses and the nursing profession.These are challenging times in which to be employed in healthcare. Unprecedented changes in the healthcare system are impacting care in all practice settings. These changes include financial pressures, uncertainty of the direction of healthcare reform, mandates from regulatory agencies to improve quality and patient safety, advancing technology, looming workforce shortages, and changes in the patient population. These changes can challenge resource allocation decisions and adversely affect the work environment. However, these forces can also create opportunities for nurses and the nursing profession. These opportunities include a greater voice for nursing in healthcare policy, expanded employment opportunities, and an enhanced image for nurses and the profession (; ; ).

In order to successfully capitalize on these emerging opportunities, it is important for nurses to work together, across employment settings and roles, to advocate on behalf of colleagues and the profession. Nurses comprise the largest professional group within healthcare and have been recognized by the public as the most trusted profession (; ). Despite nursing’s strengths inherent in its size, diversity, and unique relationship with the public, the full potential for influence by the nursing profession has yet to be realized ().

Although nurses in the United States anticipate future benefits resulting from healthcare system reform, the stress of today’s workplace falls squarely on the shoulders of nurses at the point of care. To reap these future benefits, nurses need to advocate for the profession’s desired future. It is important that all nurses engage in, and become involved in developing processes in their respective work settings to advocate for realistic changes that meet the needs of both patients and staff.

Other articles on advocacy in this topic have addressed the role of the nurse in patient advocacy and the advocacy role of the professional association. The purpose of this article is to explore strategies that enable nurses to successfully advocate for themselves and the nursing profession. Whether working within one’s own employment setting to advocate for a safer work environment, or at the state level to achieve prescriptive authority for advanced practice nurses, the process and skills required for successful advocacy are the same.

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