Nursing and advocacy barriers

Peer Responses: Respond to three of your peers that discussed a leadership concept different from yours. Remark on their suggested strategies and offer supportive, helpful feedback and additional idea. Support your responses with evidence-based (scholarly) information. Response posts should be written with the goal of furthering discussion and helping your fellow students consider additional viewpoints.



Advocacy requires a certain level of confidence to be effective. The powers of this professional world have formed a specific structure which has led to nurses having many challenges in addressing errors or alterations. There are distinct leadership roles that go all the way to the top, and these roles can limit a persons confidence in their place to address a particular situation. There are social, economic, physical, systemic, attitudinal, and many other barriers that can halt positive change, but also halt the individual. Two barriers to advocacy are communication and fear.

    Often in healthcare, messages can be misinterpreted based on a number of factors. Other than the obvious choice of words, factors such as tone, speed, facial expression can affect how a message is received. For example, if a patient is prescribed a medication in which they are allergic to, the nurse may communicate that to the provider. Depending on the communication factors, this information can be interpreted as helpful, critical, or a number of other ways. The communication may also be effected by the providers choice of interpretation. The reaction could be productive or defensive, which will alter how the nurse takes action in communication with that provider in the future. To combat this issue, building strong interpersonal relationships can improve communication errors. However, despite the ability to improve communication studies have shown that some relationships will not improve, which results in advocating for a patient as the responsibility of the nurse, regardless of interpretation of others. A technique for improving communication includes educating nurses in therapeutic communication for their interaction with patients and coworkers. Refining individual communication skills can greatly increase ones confidence to advocate for their patients and healthcare recommendations (Comfort et al., 2020).

    Another factor in advocacy is fear. Regardless of the intentions of a company or organization, there is a level of fear in employees in modern day civilization. Factors effecting fear include many people looking for jobs, families depending on a paycheck, a high level of competition, and so many potential penalties applicable to the individual or the organization.  There are processes and policies in effect to protect individuals, but not everyone is knowledgeable. Also, the information is not always easy to comprehend. One way to promote advocacy is to educate employees on their rights. Implementation of mandatory educational programs have been effective in promoting advocacy amongst nurses as nurses become more comfortable in their rights and boundaries. Another way of improving advocacy in the context of fear is to create safe spaces for nurses to voice their concerns. This can look like a private setting, an anonymous report option, or surveys. Overall, advocacy will continue to be an issue that can be improved. It relates to intrinsic and extrinsic factors, and education is one of the strongest methods of change (Papa & Venella, 2013).


Being the best nurse we can possibly be is a common goal amongst future and current nurses alike, yet to do so, it is only up to ourselves to make that happen, to attain the work ethic, to do the right thing, it is not up to our facility. Often there are regulations and healthcare delivery policies that can hinder and restrict nurses from carrying out their duties “by the book.”

A strategic leader’s role is to act as a conductor, taking the time to navigate the ward and strategize plans of action to develop techniques and solutions for areas that are in need of improvement (University City of Sharjah, 2017).

Patient advocacy is of utmost importance in the nursing field. As a nurse, we are always to have our patients’ best interest in mind as patient safety is the ultimate priority. (American Nurse, 2012). This means speaking up and out when something is wrong. A common trend in health care is the reluctance to advocate for patients due to the fear of retaliation and/or consequences from the physician or nurse manager (American Nurse, 2012). The nurse’s goal is to ensure the best care is given to the patient, not to challenge a peer employee’s knowledge.

As a strategic leader, reluctance to patient advocacy can be addressed by offering workshops/training and interprofessional mentorship on how and when to approach specific situations in which nurse’s authority must be implemented (Ford, 2017). As a leader, the nurse should reflect on their own instances in which they have been in a similar situation and offer support and act as advocates or a second voice for the nurses working under them when authority is challenged (Ford, 2017).

Another trend in healthcare that can be addressed as a strategic leader is overcoming the nursing shortage. The shortage of nurses has been a critical issue that has constantly been growing in the healthcare industry (Mehdaova, 2017). Shortages can occur due to being overworked, poor work environment, recruitment issues, and nurses retiring after years of practice, etc. (Haddad et al., 2020). A shortage in nursing paves the way for multiple problems in the healthcare setting, such as but not limited to nurse burnout, medical errors, and a heightened rate of morbidities and mortalities (Haddad et al., 2020). As a strategic leader, this issue can be addressed through means of communication programs, increasing the amount and level of employee engagement, making sure peer nurses feel heard and respected (Mehdaova, 2017). Other strategies include revising and implementing facility policies and regulations, instilling a positive work environment, and taking peer nurses’ mental health into account (Mehdaova, 2017).

Evidence has shown that by initiating the plans of action mentioned above, not only have hospitals been successful in recruiting new nurses, they have been successful in reducing the number of nurses who resign due to atmospheric issues (Mehdaova, 2017). In addition to keeping and recruiting nurses, the level of implemented patient care has been shown to improve as well, coinciding with reducing medical errors and death rates.


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