There are over a hundred national nursing associations and many other international organizations. Nurses instinctively advocate for their patients, in their workplaces, and in their communities; but legislative and political advocacy is no less important to advancing the profession and patient care. (2010). Most advocacy initiatives are accomplished through collaboration, negotiation, and compromise; they may require a series of actions over time in-order-to achieve a desired outcome. Nursing leadership is characterized by a wide range of responsibilities across the profession. Unprecedented changes in the healthcare system are impacting care in all practice settings. She has published in the areas of nursing staff development, the image of nursing, and safe work environments. Nurses can even take it upon themselves to run for elected office so that they can create change from the inside out. Nurses advocating for patients can become involved with their professional organizations, volunteer to serve on a board or in other ways influence policy makers. Strategies promoted by these groups are also applicable for nurses and the nursing profession. It is necessary, during the advocacy process, to work with those people (the stakeholders) who are affected by the issue. Changing the dynamic from panic and dread to challenge and opportunity can have a profound effect on staff buy in and morale. In contrast conflict undermines effective teamwork and jeopardizes patient safety. Citation: Tomajan, K., (January 31, 2012) "Advocating for Nurses and Nursing" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. Advocacy was demonstrated as the university faculty provided convenient and meaningful learning experiences. The nursing education director then sent a call for proposals to all baccalaureate nursing programs in the community, and the most appropriate program was identified by a selection committee comprised of bedside nurses. Marblehead, MA: HCPro. Advocacy is enhanced when scheduling and staffing are a collaborative process that involves staffing committees and self-scheduling approaches. It can be helpful to put a ‘human face’ on the issue by using ‘word pictures’ to make the communication more compelling. Washington, DC; Gallup News Service. Retrieved from www.ride.ri.gov/adulteducation/Documents/Tri%20part%201/Collaboration%20vs.%20the%203c's.pdf, Family Care Institute (2008). American Nurses Association. Leaders promote advocacy when they enable staff to autonomously address concerns. Managers and administrators can show their commitment to advocating for nurses and nursing by the manner in which they facilitate change. Nurses sitting on purchasing committees serve as advocates by testing products and providing input on behalf of colleagues. That means nurses have a unique perspective on the healthcare industry and should be willing to express their needs and concerns whenever appropriate. The committee members also served as champions for eliminating manual patient lifting. Safe Harbor. In addition, they assisted with training on the use of the equipment, which over time included ceiling-mounted lifts and transfer devices. Leading change. It is an exciting time to be a nurse. They reviewed the lift and transfer devices available to facilitate safe patient handling and ensure staff safety. Developing a sixty-second speech to describe the nurse’s role and share the consequences of nurses not being available to attend to patient concerns or complications prepare a nurse to respond effectively to any advocacy opportunity that might arise during working or non-working hours (Buresh, 2006). Another opportunity to advocate for the profession is by promoting public understanding of the nursing role. It’s important to continue to seek leadership experiences to ensure proper responsibilities and accountability for different operations such as human resources and patient outcomes. Today, advocacy is a defining characteristic of the nursing profession. ...changes can challenge resource allocation decisions and adversely affect the work environment [and] can also create opportunities for nurses and the nursing profession. However, these forces can also create opportunities for nurses and the nursing profession. The faculty assigned to this program worked closely with these students to accommodate scheduling issues and to construct meaningful class assignments to facilitate learning. By acting collectively, nurses advocate for improvements in their work settings and for the advancement of the profession as a whole — and one key for success is taking advantage of every opportunity to do it. 10.3912/OJIN.Vol15No01Man05. What is advocacy? One component of this curriculum included the teaching of advocacy skills to prepare the students to use advocacy in overcoming barriers to the use of equipment that enhances the safety and quality of care. This organization advocates for nurses and patients on capitol hill. In addition, proactive planning to formulate solutions to unpredicted staff shortages can facilitate patient and staff safety in unforeseen situations. The council members developed case scenarios and role play activities and served as facilitators for classes designed to help nursing staff respond to situations of incivility. 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. “As nurses, patient advocacy also means being engaged in the discussion of healthcare’s future and using our voice to guide the decisions that will impact the future of patient care,” Cain said. Nurse educators play a critical role in preparing nurses to strengthen the profession through advocacy. Managers play a pivotal role in developing the advocacy capabilities of staff. (2001). These activities promote the profession and form the basis of the advocacy role for the professional nurse. There are, however, certain positions which allow nurses to specialize in patient advocacy. They foster staff ownership of issues when they refer a concern to staff councils and form task forces, involving other departments as appropriate. Budget restrictions, changes to the Affordable Care Act, and other policy changes may restrict a patient’s access to care. The committee contacted the vendor and worked with the staff to evaluate the IV catheter, which was eventually adopted by the institution. Nurses may see some individuals lose access to care, struggle to get the medical care they need, or get lost in an overly complicated healthcare system. They intervene when there is a care concern, and following the proper channels, work to resolve any patient care issues. advocate for their causes. Advocacy. Nurses tend to spend the most time with their patients, carrying out the human side of healthcare. There are a number of ways that nurses can be involved in advocating for the nursing profession. An advocacy toolkit for programme managers. 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. Quality and safety in education for nurses. Nurses are increasingly positioned to advocate more effectively than ever before not only for patients, but also for themselves and the nursing profession. Collaboration is working with other individuals or groups to achieve a common goal. Nurses have had to advocate for themselves, their peers, and their patients since the profession's creation back in the 1800s. Thank you for your thoughtful and enlightening letter. Healthcare administrators, doctors, and even elected representatives and politicians may not be aware of these issues unless nurses are willing to bring them to their attention. (nd). Jones, J.M. Once the strategy is identified, a plan of action is developed to organize advocacy efforts and establish a time line for completing each activity that supports the strategy. When serving on a committee, council, or team, it is important to represent the needs of both colleagues and patients. Page, A. Advocacy skills are becoming increasingly important in this ever-changing world. Why should nurses continue to seek these experiences throughout their careers? Likewise seeking out support staff in other venues, such as a legislative aid or the assistant to a commissioner, can be equally helpful. Karen Tomajan, MS, RN, NEA-BC Persuasion is a stronger form of influence that makes use of an appeal or argument to make one’s point. Staff input on purchasing decisions for supplies and equipment is now the norm in many healthcare agencies.

how do nurses advocate for their profession

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