Advocacy is fundamental for advanced practice nurses (APNS) to promote solutions to health concerns in society. Hassmiller and Pulcini (2020) suggest that APNs should advocate broadly to influence the legislative and regulative barriers. Hence, in the U.S., advocacy is a crucial part of graduate education for APNs. APNs should be aware of how health policies are applied at the national and state level to identify the ways to healthy outcomes.
Essentially, APNs should initiate advocacy because they can increase the level of awareness and visibility of a specific health issue by being a patients’ voice. For example, a systems-level advocacy solution to monitoring patients with multiple sclerosis includes the promotion of standardized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) through publications, conferences, educational programs, and webinars (Saslow et al., 2020). Thus, it is critical to contact a legislator with an email-writing campaign, which explains the strategies for campaign implementation. First of all, the campaign includes presenting a clear objective to a legislator, namely the importance of standardized MRI for patients with multiple sclerosis. Consequently, the conference should be organized to raise awareness and care for patients. Next, the MRI survey will assist in obtaining findings on the efficiency of MRI protocols which can be presented in various publications.
In addition, educational programs for patients should be conducted because they are active participants in their health care. Thus, the brochures should be created and distributed to explain the importance of guidelines and having digital copies of MRI results. Therefore, advocating for patients with multiple sclerosis will increase awareness and facilitate guideline use. In addition, the widespread use of standardized MRI protocols can be strengthened through webinars, where patients and healthcare professionals will communicate about health issues and their solutions.
Hassmiller, S. and Pulcini, J. (2020). Advanced practice nursing leadership: A Global Perspective. Springer: International Council of Nurses.
Saslow, L., Li, D. K., Halper, J., Banwell, B., Barkhof, F., Barlow, L.,… & Traboulsee, A. (2020). An international standardized magnetic resonance imaging protocol for diagnosis and follow-up of patients with multiple sclerosis: advocacy, dissemination, and implementation strategies. International Journal of MS Care, 22(5), 226-232.