Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Advocacy

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Abstract

The social determinants of health (SDOH) are receiving increased attention due to their influence on health disparities, health outcomes, and overall quality of life. Nurse leaders must take an active role in advocating for strategies that address these important issues. The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to SDOH. A sample of 107 registered nurses completed the SDOH survey. Findings revealed that nurses experience personal discomfort and anticipate patient discomfort related to addressing the SDOH in their practice. They also voice a lack of skill, lack of time, and a dependency on other professionals to address these issues. The findings highlight the need for nurse leaders to advocate for nurses and those they care for through policy development, collaboration, and education. Based on the findings of this study, multiple strategies for nurse leaders serving as advocates are presented.

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