Nurse As An Advocate For Patient

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Nurses are skilled and trained professionals who take care of people when they are sick. Nurses are entrusted with the duty of performing treatment and procedures as prescribed by the physician. A nurse advocate is a nurse who works with a patient by helping them make informed decisions about their health, translating medical terms to them when they are in need, and also, nurses help them make ethical decisions, because they are considered the closest to the patients, so it is easy for patients to trust and confide in them. The American Nursing Associations Code requires nurses to be advocates of patients by reporting abusive cases either emotionally, sexually, or physically, because they are all against the law and requires disciplinary action against the culprits (Huston, & Marquis).

For one to become a nurse advocate, one must have some compulsory educational requirements. The first requirement is to pursue nursing degree in a two- or four years university, there by ending an associate or bachelor’s degree. After a completion of an accredited program, a successful completion of NCLEX is required for licensure, and thus practice. I am currently doing my bachelor’s in science in nursing as a starting point of my career path of being a nurse advocate. After successfully completing this career path, I intend to work in the hospital for a year, then I go back to a law school where I will obtain a law degree in three years, then after successfully completing passing the bar exam, I will become a nurse attorney. Having a consistent working experience will crown it all since it will be the prerequisites to work and practice in any states.

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Besides the function of just taking the NCLEX and passing, nurses play a significant role as advocates in observing safety of patients during their most difficult encounters with health care, especially when they are ill and unable to speak for themselves. For example, a nurse becomes an advocate when a patient is undergoing surgery and anesthesia, they assist them and decide for them because they are unable to advocate for themselves. Nurses also serve as advocates by advocating improved health care practices that relate to patients care of environment and control of infection. According to (Huston & Marquis), each encounter that that nurses have with their patients, present opportunities for them to be advocates for their patients. Furthermore, nurses act as advocates to their patient by standing for their right, health, and dignity when the others fail to do so; thus, they should be the communicator between the patient and the physician. This ascertains that the patient is comfortable and has receive optimal treatment. Nurses strive to resolve conflicts in order to ensure patients safety, guard the patient’s best interest and pressure the professional integrity of the nurses. (code of ethics for nurses with interpretative statement, (2001). Beside acting as advocates for patient, Nurses also act as advocates of family members. According to (Goldberg, 2011), there have been cases in hospitals where patients are very ill and at the point of death; where upon request of their family members to be with them, nurses have respected this wish and given them time to be with the patients. In so many cases, death conditions have been reversed with patient’s condition improving upon them seeing their family members. Nurses as advocates for their patient face numerous challenges in their daily advocacy duties. (Goldberg, 2009) observes that some physicians may make mistake on prescriptions or may not listen to nurses on time, as a result of competing priorities for nurse attention, thus placing task before advocacy. Additionally, institutional and hierarchical constraints frequently limit nurses from role as advocates of patients.

Professional organization in this profession are essential for the generation and flow of ideas which is requires to have competitive profession that caters for the needs of both nurses and clients. For a nurse advocate, the professional organizations that one needs to be successful are the American Nurses Association (ANA), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), and advocate of all nurses and nursing profession independent of specialty areas. Some publications that can also be helpful is the online journal of issues in nursing which has significant information.

In conclusion, nurses as advocates for patients have accepted and embraced in most health care institution. Advocacy for patients guarantee safety especially when they are in difficult situation like surgery. Being an advocate has always been my dream because I like communicating with elderly people, they are full of wisdom. Health care providers should there support and respect the role of nurses as advocates for patient by providing adequate cooperation in order for them all to attain their goal in making a patient well again.


  1. Fowler, M. M. D. M. (2015). Guide to the code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.
  2. Marquis B.L. & C.J. Huston. Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: theory and application. 6th edn. Wolters/Kluwer/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2009.
  3. Zolnierek C. Speak to be heard: effective nurse advocacy. Am Nurs Today. 2012.
  4. Selanders LC, Crane PC. The voice of Florence Nightingale on advocacy. Online J Issues Nurs. 2012;17(1):1.
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