Nurses have always been an integral part of the healthcare system, providing crucial support to patients in times of need. However, their role extends beyond just providing medical care – they are also advocates for their patients. Nurses are well-trained to assess and monitor patients’ conditions and communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals regarding their patients’ needs. They are expected to advocate for their patient’s rights and ensure they receive the best possible care.

The Role of Nurses in Advocating for Patients and Communities

Beyond individual patients, nurses are also advocates for entire communities, speaking up for those who may not have a voice or access to healthcare resources. From working with underserved populations to promoting health policies on a national level, nurses play a critical role in addressing social determinants of health and promoting health equity. In addition, many different roles within nursing allow for unique opportunities to advocate for diverse communities, including community health nurses, public health nurses, and school nurses.

If you are a registered nurse with a passion for healthcare and a desire to advance your career and serve diverse communities, an advanced degree in nursing can provide the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen field. But what can you do with a master’s in nursing? Well, if you enroll for a master’s in nursing at an accredited university like Rockhurst University, you will likely learn about advanced assessment, diagnosis, and health policy. You will also gain leadership, and management skills relevant to addressing the needs of patients, healthcare systems, and society at large. The program is designed to prepare nurses for leadership roles in healthcare organizations and teaching positions in academia.

The innate nature of advocacy in nursing

Advocacy is one of the hallmarks of nursing practice. It is a vital component of nursing care that involves supporting and promoting the rights, interests, and needs of patients. Advocacy is not just a professional responsibility, but it is also an ethical obligation that is essential for providing high-quality patient care.

The innate nature of advocacy in nursing is deeply ingrained, stemming from the values and ethics that underscore nursing practice. It reflects the need for nurses to speak out and take action on behalf of their patients when their health and well-being are at risk.

Advocating for patients is about protecting their rights and ensuring they receive appropriate healthcare, which can only be accomplished by going above and beyond your normal role. Nurses have the opportunity to impact patients’ well-being and quality of life by advocating for their rights while avoiding any form of abuse in nursing homes. In every population, some are vulnerable, underserved, or faced with a lack of resources and services. Nurturing these populations promotes health for the entire community and improves the ability to eradicate social determinants of health.

The concept of nursing advocacy

In the nursing profession, advocacy is a core concept that involves actively supporting and speaking up on behalf of patients. It is an integral part of the nursing process and essential to ensuring patients receive optimal care.

Nursing advocacy can take various forms, including providing information to patients, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, and advocating for policy changes. Here are the key attributes that underpin the concept of nursing advocacy:


Nurses must be able to clearly inform patients of their diagnosis and prognosis and provide relevant, timely information for the patients to take action. This encompasses providing patients with information regarding treatments, discussing healthcare alternatives, and discharge.


Nurses can intervene when they witness patient-provider disagreements and provide solutions. They can also create learning opportunities through active listening, which promotes problem-solving and innovation in healthcare.


Nursing advocacy involves fostering a culture of patient-centered care and ensuring that a patient’s voice is heard. All patients must be valued and respected, including the vulnerable and marginalized. They must be treated with respect and dignity while being provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their healthcare.

Championing social justice in healthcare

Patient advocacy is an essential aspect of the nursing process that enables nurses to advocate for healthcare policy changes and access to healthcare resources. Nurses must actively work to promote patients’ rights through social and political advocacy.


Nurses play a vital role in ensuring that health information is protected and safeguarded. In addition, they must always safeguard the confidentiality of patient information.


Collaboration is a crucial element of patient advocacy because it enables nurses to effectively serve as liaisons between patients, families, and other healthcare professionals. It fosters strong, effective feedback loops that benefit all parties involved and leads to better care and outcomes for patients.

Influence on community and policy

Nurses have the unique ability to identify and address health disparities and advocate for policies that promote health equity and access to care. Their role in advocacy plays a crucial role in shaping policies and improving healthcare access for individuals and communities. Through their work, nurses can shape policies that benefit patients and communities, ultimately improving the quality of life for all.

Nurses play a significant role in shaping healthcare policies and influencing the decisions made at local, state, and national levels. Through their advocacy and influence, nurses can provide a voice to patients with little to no access to physicians. Many of these patients live in underserved areas of the country or lack social support such as education or employment opportunities.

The nurse can serve as an advocate for these individuals’ needs by ensuring they receive the care they need regardless of their socioeconomic background. By utilizing their expertise and knowledge, nurses can make a significant impact in improving the health of those in their communities.

Find a role in nursing advocacy

Nursing advocacy gives nurses the tools and knowledge necessary to serve as a patient’s primary advocate. By fulfilling their role of advocating for health, nurses can promote the health of individuals and communities. They can promote social justice by ensuring all patients are empowered to make informed decisions about their healthcare.

To be part of the process and make a positive change in your community, enroll for a master’s in nursing. This will arm you with the knowledge and skills to provide effective care while advocating for high standards of practice.