Although advocacy is highly valued and considered an essential component of nursing practice, the concept is ambiguous and ill described by the profession. What are the essential skills necessary to advocate for individuals at the individual level? At the systems level? How can nursing schools and mentors facilitate the APN’s role as advocate?
Good health is a major resource for economic, social and personal development as well as an important dimension of quality of life. Economic, political, cultural, social, behavioral, environmental and biological factors can either favor health or be harmful to it. In order to make these conditions favorable and promote health, advocacy is required. On the other hand, conflicting and multiple definitions and usages of the word advocacy bring about ambiguity in the field. In nursing profession, advocacy is a prerequisite element. The aim of advocacy in health care in this case is to protect the vulnerable group (mostly patients) while empowering the disadvantaged. In this case, important skills are required by nurses in order to take the expected approach for both individual and systems-level advocacy.