Nursing Advocacy as a Career Choice

Nursing Advocacy as a Career Choice

What Is Nursing Advocacy?

Nursing advocacy is something every single nurse does on the job, whether they realize it or not. Advocacy can be described as the basic nurse-patient relationship, in which the nurse becomes the care provider for all facets of the patient’s life during the term of care.

Anyone who has been on the job for a few weeks will agree—nurses don’t just care for the body. They are the support system, the cheerleader, the family activist, the bridge to the complex healthcare system, and in many ways, a friend.

Because it is such an important part of the healthcare process, more and more hospitals and doctors’ offices are turning nursing advocacy into its own job category. This is especially true for hospitals that are hoping to build a better reputation or compete against other providers in their area, since a good nurse advocate can substantially increase patient satisfaction.

What Does a Nurse Advocate Do?

It is still a developing career field, so no two jobs are exactly alike, but most nurse or patient advocates can expect to:

  • Inform patients of rights and responsibilities
  • Answer questions related to care
  • Enforce procedural and medical ethics regulations
  • Act as a liaison between the doctor/hospital and the patient/loved ones
  • Point patients toward public support systems
  • Develop healthcare policy
  • Campaign for ethical and safety features
  • Conduct seminars and training
  • Handle public and media relations

Almost all of this is done at the administration level, and nurse advocates tend to focus less on hands-on care and spend more time at a desk. While interaction with patients and their families is a large part of the job, so is working with hospital administrators and even local politicians to fight for patient rights.

There is no set education basis for nurse advocacy, but if this is a field that interests you, you may want to look at hospital administration as well as nursing, or even look into law courses. Anything that enhances your knowledge of the behind-the-scenes world of health care will go a long way in helping you not only land a good job, but to really excel at it.


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.