Ethics in the
• Define patient advocacy, workplace advocacy, and professional
• Identify opportunities to advocate for patients
• Understanding the nursing profession’s obligation to advocate
• Describe actions the nurse could take in advocating for
• Give an example of how the nursing profession advocates for
• Give examples of how the nursing profession advocates for its
What is Advocacy?
• The healthcare system, for patients, is much like visiting a
different country where people speak a different
• The nurse can act as the patients advocate and help the
patient navigate the unknown.
• Advocacy comes from the Latin term advocare, meaning
“to call to one’s aid”
• To advocate on behalf of a patient is to come to his or
her aid or to give voice to his or her concerns.
• Advocacy can also be in the form of advocating for
institutional change or policy change to benefit mulitiple
Call to Advocacy
• Given the nurses knowledge of the healthcare system,
the patients own issues and the authority the nurse has,
the nurse has a natural call to advocate for the patient.
• The nurse can provide a patient with the information and
perspective necessary to navigate the complexities of
their disease process and the healthcare system itself.
• The position of power and authority provides the nurse
with the strength needed to advocate for what is right
Uncertainty, Dilemma, Distress
• A question of whether the problem is an ethics
• When a choice must be made between two
equally unpleasant alternatives
• Moral distress when it is difficult to articulate
ethical components or describe what is right or
what is not right in a given situations
How to Advocate
Three ways nurses can advocate
• The nurse learns how to stand up for others.
• Learning by watching how other nurses advocate
• Gaining confidence through experience, validation
• Nurses need to advocate for the profession of
• Patients benefit from successful advocacy for the
• Advocacy, based on principles of autonomy of the
patient, beneficence, and nonmaleficence, is an
ethical obligation of the nurse