Advocacy for Health Care Professionals

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 6
Words: 1743
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: College

Legislative advocacy emphasizes legislative development, implementation, and iteration. It can range from modest chores like working directly with a politician on bill wording to significant efforts like rallying tens of thousands of stakeholders or fans to call a legislator about a particular issue. It involves airing out views and taking action in place of oneself and others. The efforts are aimed at ensuring an introduction and enactment of the legislation. Advocacy is essential to the nursing profession (O’Connor, 2018). Nurses are always the first line of interaction with patients. Therefore, nurses must acquire strong advocacy skills for patients in their care. The most common types of legislative advocacy are professional advocacy and political advocacy.

Professional advocacy is raising and highlighting an issue within a population, such as making health care a topic of national debate and media attention. Lobbying is directing one’s efforts toward individuals in authority, for instance, administrative bodies, government officials, politicians, and regulatory organizations (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). Professional groups, for example, nurses, are the essential voice that ensures they have feedback regarding components and were incorporated in the drafting and final legislation process during the creation of the Affordable Care Act.

Professional advocacy generally involves public speaking, media advertising, polls, and publishing research. It means to plead for the cause of another. For instance, nurses advocate for patient’s needs while in their care, frequently consulting with the doctor about their requirements. If the patient’s pain relief medication has to be increased, the nurse collects further information such as when the pain occurs, where the pain occurs, and what more may be done to relieve the pain besides drugs. With this information, nurses consult with the doctor and agree on whether increasing the dosage or the degree of activity will provide better pain relief (Schaeffer, & Haebler, 2019). On the other hand, political advocacy involves informing decision-makers. They can be elected officials and staff or voters on ballot initiatives on the current or proposed law and recommend a vote for or against it. Typically, it involves three elements: decision-makers, law, and a request for a vote.

However, a lobbyist and an advocate have a lot in common. They both want to persuade someone to think about their issue and agree it is vital. They both want people to act and make changes that benefit those lobbying or advocating, whether they are politicians or members of the general public. The distinction is in whom they are, essentially speaking. A lobbyist is more likely to communicate with a politician to influence them. While lobbying may imply professional advocacy, not all are lobbying (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). Professional advocacy is any activity that speaks in favor of encourages fights for, endorsements, protects, or appeals on account of others. Advocating for one’s goal entails nearly every type of communication a nonprofit might engage in. Lobbying, on the other hand, is a somewhat specialized field.

A political action committee (PAC) is an organization that gathers contributions from members and then distributes them to political campaigns. These assets could be used to support or oppose candidates in elections. Most political action committees are formed to represent industry, labor, or specific issues such as abortion rights. Political action committees are formed to raise funds confidentially to influence elections or legislation. It is vital in driving candidates’ campaign contributions (O’Connor, 2018). PACs exist in the nursing career. Nurses play a critical role in influencing care delivery models and healthcare policies. Therefore, political action committees guide nurses in understanding the role played by money politically and how contributions to the campaigns of a candidate benefit in having one’s apprehensions addressed by Congress.

Professional Advocacy and the Role of Professional Organization

According to the rules and regulations that govern professional license, the scope of practice for qualified health care professionals details that they are considered knowledgeable to deliver and legalized to execute. Limitations and restrictions in the scope of practice have been major issues for the nursing profession. According to The Future of Nursing, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are highly skilled and proficient in delivering various services (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). However, limitations have been a chief concern since APRNs cannot offer quality care due to hurdles such as federal rules, state legislation, outdated insurance models, and institutional norms and culture limiting their scope of practice. Several policy proposals for incapacitating these challenges and providing licenses, remuneration, and privileges aligned with their acquired training and education have conversed.

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health is a professional organization that has constantly been on the frontline of digging further into this issue and coming up with strategies to address limitations in the scope of practice (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). It noted that the shifting environment of health care and the increasing composition of the United States residents would necessitate significant alterations in the health care delivery system. A study conducted expressed concern over a shortage of health care providers in the United States, predominantly in light of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) surge in insurance coverage (O’Connor, 2018). It indicates that if APRNs are given a chance to practice to the limitations of their education and training, an outstanding contribution will be made to the delivery of community-based patient-centered healthcare. According to the Future of Nursing, nurses do not work toward taking the role of doctors (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). APRNs should be allowed to offer care to patients with a degree of their knowledge and skills to ensure improvement in the quality of amenities provided to patients and efficiency of patient services (O’Connor, 2018). Therefore, this word should be interpreted as full practice authority to apply one’s degree and skills.

Like all other health professionals, APRNs should have complete practice power as part of a well-organized, collaborative care system. While APRNs regularly take on substantial duties in giving exceptional health care, limitations in their scope of practice continue to limit their ability to practice. As published by The Future of Nursing, evidence in the form of a book supports primary research; it was revealed that it backs up the elimination of limitations on the scope of practice (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). In the demonstration, APRNs deliver high-quality care in a diverse setting, improving health outcomes, for instance, less preventable hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and readmissions. In rural settings and medically underserved people, where deficits in primary care are reputable and doctor oversight is not accessible, APRNs continue to play a significant role in offering these primary care services (O’Connor, 2018). Various organizations have driven towards removing these barriers that prevented APRNs from operating to the most significant capacity of their education and training in partnership with the campaign and its state.

These organizations have impacted legislative bodies. Hence, several states have approved APRNs of authority to practice fully, although numerous large states have yet to implement these strategies (O’Connor, 2018). APRNs have proposed a regime, although some limits are still applicable in administering certain medication types. Disagreements are compromised due to the requirements of APRN control panels which consist of medical licensure committees. However, instead of nurses licensing the panel’s matters related to clinical management of APRNs, teamwork with physicians restricted to APRNs has been suggested regardless of providing various services to patients, such as permissions regarding hospital admissions.

Professional Advocacy

Obtain membership for APRNs in the organization; American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Participate actively in the membership of the organization while offering care to patients professionally and skillfully within the nursing scope of practice as AANP actions are aimed at empowering nurse practitioners to offer patient-centered, advanced, equitable, and quality care that produces desirable outcomes through advocacy, education, leadership, and research while maintaining their scope of practice.

Legislative Advocacy

Follow the political actions of The American Nurses Association (ANA) of promoting nursing as a profession and striving. This will enhance public health and health care by advocating for APRNs and registered nurses at the uppermost government levels when plans, policies, and rules are established, discussed, and implemented.

Join ANA in amplifying the voices of nurses, which Congress and administrative agencies lobby, and provide data and tools that enable nurses to air their perspectives and skills unswervingly with legislators.

Explore RNAction, the digital home of the ANA Department of Government Affairs’ federal advocacy campaign (GOVA). Visit the digital platform to discover more about what the ANA undertakes to help promote the purpose of health care and nursing on a federal level – and how to get involved in the battle for quality medical care for all.


Before working through this module, I briefly understood professional and legislative advocacy. However, I could not comprehend the differences between the two and how they apply to the nursing profession. Therefore, with this module, I can relate advocacy to my career and understand their differences. With this, I can tell that professional advocacy has wide applications in nursing. Nurses speak up for their patients, coworkers, and employees, as well as for themselves. Advocacy is a conventional practice in the workplace. For instance, in requesting enhancements that improve patient care or in implementing innovations to serve patients better. Also, it is practical when managers and leaders advocate for their colleagues by relaying their issues and expressing their needs. I can relate this concept to activities such as supporting disease and health issue awareness campaigns. Outside of the organization, advocacy might take the form of standing up for patients’ rights as consumers because of industry trends. Advocates must speak up on a variety of problems.

Nurse advocates can communicate from a variety of platforms. They can use social media and conference presentations to publicize concerns, generate support, and advocate for decision-makers within their organizations. The aha moment for me in this module is the concept where lobbyists are distinguished by their explicit aim to steer such talks toward a specific goal: impacting public policy or drafting legislation. While advocacy may be the catalyst for a grassroots campaign, lobbying is the means through which such change is achieved. Nurse lobbyists work for various groups involved in or interested in health care at the local, state, and federal levels. Therefore, I will communicate my understanding regarding advocacy to my fellow nurses, especially on its application since nurses are constantly affected by issues that require advocacy. I will emphasize the need to speak up about their concerns in meetings, CMEs, seminars, and other platforms to ensure the improvement of health outcomes.


O’Connor, M. (2018). Advocacy. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 42(2), 136-142.

Schaeffer, R., & Haebler, J. (2019). Nurse leaders: extending your policy influence. Nurse Leader, 17(4), 340-343.