DQ 1: Discuss how nurse leaders serve as advocates for their employees.
Topic 4 DQ 1
Discuss how nurse leaders serve as advocates for their employees. Describe how advocacy for employees affects patient care and outcomes.
As nurses it is our responsibility to maintain patient advocacy for our patients and for ourselves as well in order to maintain quality of care and patient safety. A charge nurse is a an example of a nursing leader. A charge nurse oversees the department and makes sure that safety in the department is being maintained. For example, just like everywhere our emergency department is short staffed, our charge nurse always speaks up for us and has called safe harbor when our house supervisor attempts to increase our staffing ratio mid shift. Our charge nurse provides a welcoming and comfortable environment. Another example, is our nursing director makes sure he approves our self schedules due to making us happy and he stated that by granting our wishes will assist in promoting our health and rest. “To be advocates and practice social justice, nurses must be armed with the knowledge and values that empower them to voice concerns and contribute to positive changes in their immediate environment” (Thomas, 2018).
” Nurses are increasingly positioned to advocate more effectively than ever before not only for patients, but also for themselves and the nursing profession” (Tomajan, nd). Advocating for employees and colleagues can positively affect patient care and outcomes if the nurse him or herself feels they have the support from the leader. This allows for any issue to be brought up to the leader and it can be addressed and dealt with. When an individual does not have the support, they may not feel motivated to go to work, may increase the risk for medication errors, and their work ethic may be poor.
Thomas, J, S. (2018). Organizational culture and values. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Nursing leadership & management: Leading and serving. https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs451vn/nursing-leadership-and-management-leading-and-serving/v1.1/#/chapter/4
Tomajan, K. (n.d.). Advocating for Nurses and Nursing. Advocating for nurses and nursing. from https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-17-2012/No1-Jan-2012/Advocating-for-Nurses.html
Hi Breanna – that’s awesome that you have such great supervisors and charge nurses. My supervisors are also good at approving our self schedules, but I have nurse friends who have supervisors that don’t pay much attention to staff preferences when it comes to scheduling and only staff according to what suits the unit the best. It’s so important that staff are happy and can take time off to relax and recharge – especially in the healthcare field. Without this, staff burnout happens so easily and quickly. It’s also great that your charge advocates for your staff to ensure safe staffing ratios. Additionally our charges will make sure we don’t get admits from the ED who aren’t appropriate for our staff – like pts who should be in ICU or ones that require constant care when we’re already at 6:1. Part of continuous quality improvement in a nursing organization involves interdisciplinary teams that contribute to making decisions that will ultimately improve patient care (Thomas, 2018).
Thomas, J. S. (2018). Organizational culture and values. Nursing leadership and management: leading and serving. (Chapter 4). https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs451vn/nursing-leadership-and-management-leading-and-serving/v1.1/#/chapter/4
According to Bowles et al., (2018) every nurse has the opportunity to impact nursing profession through day-to-day advocating for the profession and practitioners. Advocacy as defined by (Stamps et al., 2021) is the act of supporting a cause or a proposal. Nursing leaders are equipped with advocacy skills including problem-solving, collaboration, influence and communication which enables them to satisfy this role. One of the ways through which nurses’ leaders’ advocate for their employees is through advocating for a safe and healthy working environment. This includes ensuring that nurses and other caregivers are provided with relevant resources they need for their safety during the care process. They also ensure appropriate allocation of resources alongside promoting a positive work environment.
Nursing leaders also fulfill this advocacy role by protecting nursing resources during budget scrutiny work flow redesign or during work flow change. In addition to that, nursing leaders also enable staffs to autonomously address their concerns. This is significantly achieved through effective communication of the employees’ concerns to the management of the health care organization. They help in addressing challenges faced by health pro Apart from that, nursing leaders also fulfill this advocacy role by ensuring the organization adopts policies and measures that are favorable to all employees (Stamps et al., 2021). This encompasses various elements including nursing working hours, shifts and other working policies. It is the role of nursing leaders to ensure reasonable and fair shifts as well as ensuring nurses are not overworked. Apart from that, nursing leaders also collaborate with healthcare team on improving opportunities for nurses as a way of advocating for other nurses. Through the advocacy act, nurses work conveniently making them valued and satisfied and this boost their motivation to providing quality care impacting patients’ care and outcome positively.
Bowles, J. R., Adams, J. M., Batcheller, J., Zimmermann, D., & Pappas, S. (2018). The role of the nurse leader in advancing the quadruple aim. Nurse Leader, 16(4), 244-248. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mnl.2018.05.011
Stamps, D. C., Foley, S. M., Gales, J., Lovetro, C., Alley, R., Opett, K., … & Faggiano, S. (2021). Nurse leaders advocate for nurses across a health care system: COVID-19. Nurse Leader, 19(2), 159-164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mnl.2020.07.011
I enjoyed reading your post. As nurses it is important that we don’t forget our main role in nursing and that is to advocate for our clients and ourselves. In doing so, will promote patient safety and improve the quality of care that the client is receiving. Nursing leaders who encourage and support their nurses will build confidence, rapport, motivation and willingness to grow in the company. By maintaining this open approach can be one solution to decrease nurse turnover. “An environment that does not support its nurses through education, training, and debriefing of high-risk practice behaviors may lead to increased errors, decreased accountability, and poor patient outcomes” (Thomas, 2018).
Thomas, J. (2018). Nursing leadership & management: Leading and serving. Grand Canyon University. https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs451vn/nursing-leadership-and-management-leading-and-serving/v1.1/#/chapter/4