Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay

Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay

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Nowadays, it is widely known that nurses not only provide medical assistance but also can contribute to the political life of the country by actively participating in the development of policies (Arabi, Rafii, Cheraghi, & Ghiyasvandian, 2014; Milstead, 2013). It could be said that all of the characteristics mentioned above are essential constituents of the nurse’s advocacy role. American Nurses Association (ANA) also highlights this part of the nursing profession of paramount importance. In its Policy & Advocacy Section, it states that every member of this organization is encouraged to take action and contribute to the development of the healthcare system (American Nurses Association, 2017). Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay.

In this case, ANA highly promotes the position of an advocate and helps address different matters, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Nursing Caucus (American Nurses Association, 2017). This description entirely complies with the definition of the advocacy role of a nurse while showing that the opinion of a medical specialist can change the situation in the healthcare segment.

Within this sphere, it is possible to choose one option out of three career tracks, and they are research, education, and practice. Thus, one of the critical roles within this segment is being an educator since these professionals help nurses behave and act as advocates and increase their awareness about this side of the nursing career (Tomajan, 2012).


I chose this role since I wanted to have an active contribution and share my knowledge with other nurses, as only working together as a team and being aware of a problem could assist in improving the healthcare sphere.Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay.  I believe that I have good communication skills and the ability to persuade the audience, and a combination of these characteristics entirely complies with the description of the selected position. Overall, I want to become a role model, motivate and inspire others to pursue careers as advocates with the help of my example, contribute to policy-making, and change the attitude towards nursing in general. Consequently, this advocacy position can help me reach my personal and professional goals simultaneously.

Comments to the Post

Your posting creates a perception that you have a clear understanding of the advocacy role of a nurse. I would say that you truly understand the meaning and mission of this position, and I think that you should consider becoming an advocate, it will not only help you release your professional potential but also assist you in becoming an active member of the society.

Nursing advocacy is a complicated part of the profession, as it requires medical practice and a clear understanding of the political mechanism. Thus, apart from these complications, it seems that you can discover the nursing profession through an entirely different lens. Today, various institutions provide an extended variety of courses to educate nurses about their advocacy roles. If I were you, I would consider taking some extra courses about policy-making in the healthcare sphere, as you already have a well-developed image of a nurse as an advocate. Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay.

It is widely known that nursing advocacy starts being a highly valued and progressively developing side of this profession. I think that you should consider becoming one, as your posting is highly argumentative, as you can discover this role of a nurse from an entirely different perspective. Thus, it seems that combining this initiative with studying may be complicated due to an enormous number of responsibilities and obligations. Nonetheless, the development of technology eases the educational process, and you can master your skills with the help of online courses. I would encourage you to take them and pursue a career in this sphere, as you have a professional potential.


American Nurses Association. (2017). Take action. Web.

Arabi, A., Rafii, F., Cheraghi, M., & Ghiyasvandian, S. (2014). Nurses’ policy influence: A concept analysis. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 19(3), 315-322.

Milstead, J. (2013). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Tomajan, K. (2012). Advocating for nurses and nursing. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1), 1-4.

The legislative process is a pivotal process that shapes the health care policy within the country. The US healthcare system requires a lot of influencing and lobbying in order to adopt or to implement the necessary health care reform policies. The nurses are the relevant people to push for these reforms through their associations or alliances e.g. The Nursing Organizations Alliance (NOA).

The nurses hold the most influential position in driving for the necessary healthcare reforms; this is because of their numbers, expertise and also their positions. The evidence of these numbers is demonstrated by a statistical report which shows that in every 44 female voters in the US there is one nurse. Secondly, in every 100 voters there is one nurse. Finally, there is evidence that there are 100,000 nurses in every congressional district (source: Leavitt, 2003).

Given the position and the well earned respect for nurses by the American public (The Gallup poll has shown that nurses are top ranking when it comes to ‘Honesty and Ethics in profession’).All these factors are evidence that the nurses can indeed influence the healthcare policy and the policy makers. There is need for nurses to develop an interest and an understanding in the legislative process if they are to be knowledgeable of the political environment, which is a determinant in the making of the health care policies.

Nurses play a very important role in advocating for the rights of their patients, this is so because they are at the best position of understanding the healthcare needs of the patients and this therefore gives them the authority to advocate for better health care reform policies for these patients.

Nurses must therefore move from the reactive response approach to a more strategically planned approach with regard to the changing healthcare policies. Another role of a nurse in health policy is to understand these policies; this directly implies that nurses must know the people to influence, how to influence these people and the right time to influence these people. A nurse also needs to be politically aware in order to stay abreast with the changing issues in the political environment and this is done through a network of nursing organization that keeps the nurses informed of the changing political affairs.

The nurses must also form strategic alliances with other organization in order for them to remain influential and to have a stronger voice in advocating for reforms. The alliances create or result to the creation of a bigger impact. Nurses must be very decisive in their approach to health care policies and this can be done through them taking an active role in making recommendations to health care bills when they are brought to the public for consultations. The nurses also have a responsibility in being or holding positions where they can be consulted with regard to health care policy issues e.g. there are three nurses in the US congress namely Eddie Bernice Johnson, Carolyn McCarthy, and Lois Capps. Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay.

The current issues and problems

The American healthcare system has been facing numerous challenges. The sudden paradigm shift from a healthcare system based on provision of quality care to one that is guided by the market based economic models, has led to the urgent need for the health care reforms. One of the major problems that were faced by the US healthcare system was the increasing customer demand for reduced healthcare costs and the adoption of a structured business plan, played a role in the erosion of the public’s concept of an ideal healthcare as that of humanitarian service.

This particular flawed model led to increased nursing malpractice law suits and even patient errors (This was described by the American Hospital Association as the ‘worst disaster to hit the American hospitals’, and this was in the year 1995.There have been many institutions taking the fore front in looking at the American healthcare flawed system and these include the Health Research and Service Administration (HRSA) and the Institute Of Medicine (IOM).Another problem is the increased number of American deaths due to avoidable medical errors and these numbers are estimated to stand at a staggering 98,000.

It can be argued that the current healthcare system is on the brink of collapse and all the positive aspects of this system maintained. It is also undeniable that the registered nurses (RN) are the key ingredient to a better health care policy. They also form the largest number of healthcare professionals (are about 2.4 million).There is a developing trend in terms of shortage in the number of qualified nurses; this has tampered with the efficient access to safe and quality health care.Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay.  The supply of new nurses getting into the healthcare system is incomparable to the number of RNs demanded by the healthcare system (There are fewer RNs compared to the new ones getting into the market)

It would be too general and maybe inaccurate to claim that the health care system is in need of more nurses but it would be accurate to point out the fact that the healthcare system is in need of highly educated and very professional nurses who are in tune with the ever changing health care industry (the technology, advanced medical practices et cetra).


The projection made by the US bureau of labour Statistics Statistics has estimated that there will be an increased need of more than one million new and replacement nurses by the year 2016. (This increase will help deal with the increased demand for the nurses within the healthcare system. The other problem is the Nurse faculty Shortage, , the nursing educational system is also equally strained, and this is mainly due to the limitations in capacity within this learning institutions. Last year alone there were 40,285 qualified applicants who were denied student positions within the baccalaureate and nursing programmes. The reason for this is because of limited faculty positions of about 7.6% (source: Special Survey on Vacant Faculty Positions by AACN in July 2008) Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay.

Ways of solving these problems

The problem of the nursing shortage can be resolved through the following measures

Increasing the number of qualified and highly educated nurses (specifically those with a baccalaureate degree or possible higher) ); the reason for this recommendation is because of the increase in acute patients who suffer from multiple health complications e.g. (diabetes, obesity) and therefore demand more independent nursing personnel who are more critical in their decision making, take the place of traditional care givers and also train patients on ways of maintaining good health.
Recommendations have also been made by the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, the US Secretary for Health and Human Services and also by the policy advisors to the congress on the need for About two thirds of the practicing nurses to hold a baccalaureate degree or higher (in the nursing profession) by the year 2010.Only 47.2 % of nurses are holders of degrees at the baccalaureate level or above. There are also efforts from the AACN, ANA (American nursing association) and also the American Organization of Nurse Executives to have the RNS to get education at the baccalaureate level or even more.

The second solution is to Reauthorizing the Title VIII Nursing Work force Development Programmes (they are authorized under the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C.296 et Seq).The Nursing Workforce Development programs have in the past addressed various issues of nursing shortages which range from retention, recruitment to education. The Title VIII program usually Award education grants to schools of nursing and also more direct support to nursing students through loans, scholarships, and traineeships. This ensures that qualified nurses are available to give qualified health care. Nursing Advocacy Role in Healthcare Reforms Essay.