Developing a Health Advocacy Campaign

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Patient advocacy has been a fundamental component of nursing practice for many years. Dating back to the Nightingale era, nursing attributes have been influential in the development of the profession. The American Nurses Association's (2001) Code of Ethics, Provision Three states, “the nurse promotes, advocates for, and strives to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient” (p. 23). Intentionally, as a core element of our nursing practice, we are advocating for the health of our patients individually and as a population. Nursing advocacy can take on various forms. Three attributes are described: (1) protecting the autonomy of the patient, (2) standing up for the patient unable to respond independently, and (3) campaigning for social justice (S. O. Paquin, 2011). As health advocates, nurses are able to influence policies that can improve the health of a population.

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