Advocacy in Nursing: What Does a Nurse Advocate Do?



Advocacy in nursing is integral to patient satisfaction in healthcare, and it requires unique skills. Nurse advocates ensure patients receive the best possible care and protect their rights. A nurse advocate’s job is to:

  • protect the rights of patients
  • make it easier for patients and other healthcare professionals to talk to each other
  • advocate for patients’ needs
  • give emotional support
  • educate patients and their families
  • push for change
  • look out for the patient’s best interests
  • work with the interdisciplinary team

In order to achieve these goals, nurse advocates must be well-versed in the laws, regulations, and ethical standards that impact their profession. They should be able to connect with patients and earn their confidence. They should be able to comfort patients and their families, inform them of their treatment choices and challenge the status quo when necessary.

Becoming a Nurse Advocate

A career in nursing advocacy requires a strong foundation, which starts with obtaining a nursing degree. Whether you have a diploma, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, it is the first step toward your goal of becoming a nurse advocate.

However, to excel in this position, you can also get your master’s in nursing advocacy. By finishing this degree, you will learn about patient advocacy, healthcare law and policy, and healthcare law. These programs will also give you a more in-depth understanding of the importance of advocacy in nursing and how it affects patient care.

What Role Does a Nurse Advocate Play?

  1. Protecting Patient Rights

Nurse advocates play a crucial role in safeguarding the rights of their patients and providing them with high-quality medical care. They must stay up-to-date on the rules and regulations that impact the healthcare industry, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which protects patients’ personal information. Nurse advocates ensure they follow the rules to protect their patient’s privacy and confidentiality.

Nurse advocates are dedicated to representing the interests of their patients, putting their needs and well-being first and foremost. They strive to empower patients by honoring their right to participate in planning their care and supporting those in their care. In addition, nurse advocates listen to the patient’s preferences and respect their decisions about their medical treatment.

  1. Providing Emotional Support

Nurse advocates provide emotional support by creating a safe and supportive environment for patients to discuss their needs and emotions. Nurse advocates must thoroughly understand their patients’ physical, emotional, and mental needs. They must also show compassion by actively listening to their patients

With training and experience, nurse advocates can help their patients find the help they need and find their way through the healthcare system. In addition, nurse advocates recognize signs of distress and provide appropriate interventions, such as referring the patient to a mental health professional or connecting them with community resources. Keeping up-to-date on the latest techniques for providing support and being familiar with local and national resources available to patients is also essential.

  1. Educating Patients and Families

Educating patients is vital for empowering patients to make informed decisions about their care. They help individuals understand their medical conditions and treatment options, including potential risks and benefits. Nurse advocates inform patients and their families about various aspects of their healthcare.

Nurse advocates also educate patients and families on managing their health after leaving the hospital or clinic. These instructions may include providing information on medications, lifestyle changes, and follow-up appointments. By equipping patients with the knowledge, they need to take control of their health; nurse advocates can help improve health outcomes and prevent complications.

  1. Facilitating Communication

Nurses support patients by ensuring effective communication with other healthcare professionals. As nurse advocates, they serve as the voice of patients, communicating their needs and wishes to the medical team. Doing so requires a thorough understanding of the patient’s concerns and the ability to convey this information to the team. At the same time, nurse advocates must also be able to understand the medical team’s recommendations and make sure that the patient comprehends them.

Nurse advocates are critical in collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to provide comprehensive and effective care to their patients. By working closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, social workers, and therapists, nurse advocates can provide a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to care.

Nurse advocates are essential to ensure patients get the best care possible because they help bridge the gap between patients and healthcare professionals. To facilitate effective communication, nurse advocates must be active listeners, providing a supportive environment where patients feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. This includes protecting the patient’s confidentiality and respecting their right to make care decisions and participate in their treatment plan.

  1. Advocating for Change

Nurse advocates are essential in advocating for change within the healthcare system. In addition to working directly with individual patients and families, nurse advocates may also work to address broader policy issues that impact patient care. These steps can involve advocating for changes to laws and regulations and speaking out about issues that affect the well-being of patients.

When it comes to policy issues, nurse advocates are knowledgeable about the relevant laws and regulations and the broader social, political, and economic factors that influence healthcare. This means they keep up with changes in how healthcare is paid for, address differences in healthcare access, and improve the quality of care for all patients.

Whether working locally or nationally, nurse advocates must be persistent and tenacious in their efforts to create positive change.


In conclusion, nurse advocates play a crucial role in the healthcare system by advocating for their patients’ rights, providing emotional support, educating patients and families, collaborating with interdisciplinary teams, and advocating for change. They are the voice of the patients and work tirelessly to ensure that their patients receive the best possible care.

Nurse advocates are vital in delivering quality healthcare, and their contributions should be recognized and valued. By staying informed of the latest techniques and policies, nurse advocates can help patients navigate the healthcare system and access the necessary resources. The ultimate goal of nurse advocacy is to improve patients’ quality of life and ensure they receive the care they deserve.