Advocacy in Nursing

Purpose of this assessment.

This assessment focuses on understanding the importance and application of (1) rights-based approaches to care, (2) advocacy, (3) safeguarding and (4) effective interprofessional teamworking. 

We are all called upon in our professional lives to represent the needs of others. The purpose of this assessment is for you to practice advocating on behalf of an individual or a group of people who you support in practice, perhaps within your own field of nursing.

You may find the following explanation of advocacy in nursing useful, keep this in mind as you prepare your assessment:  

Advocacyinvolves speaking on behalf of those whose voices aren’t heard to solve problems and propose action and/or support for those in need. For nurses, this may involve advocating for children, mentally ill patients, and patients who are uninformed about health care policies and their own rights. This may include working with decision-makers and members of a wider interprofessional team, such as physicians and legislative bodies (Gerber, 2018).

3.1. The Assessment

  1. Complete an evidence-based, academic rationale articulating a clear plan for a professional communication which is designed to advocate for the needs of a person/client/patient or group/population you support and represent in practice. Explain, why this communication is important and what your audience needs to do, or be aware of, to support your chosen individual or population [750 words with academic references]
  2. Complete the communication (this could be a professional email/letter/report or a form of media such as a video, podcast, or poster) [500-words or equivalent]. 

How do I get started?

  • Decide who you are advocating for – e.g., an individual (perhaps a character from one of the plays Mad, Bad, Invisible or Cracks), or a group/population of people you work with and support in practice (perhaps a group whose needs you feel are underrepresented in society due to a disease process or certain characteristics, such as people with a learning disability, a mental health condition or protected characteristic).  
  • Decide who your audience is, who your communication is aimed at – e.g., another professional (GP, Nurse, Teacher, or other) or a group of people (the public, school children, members of parliament or perhaps an organisation). 
  • Think about why this communication is required and how it will benefit those you are representing. 
  • Remember you are advocating on behalf of others, representing their ‘voice’. When we communicate on behalf of another regardless of the format, we must think carefully about the purpose and details of what and how we are communicating; we must respect the rights of the individual and safeguard against the risk of harm, involving them as far as possible every step of the way (NMC 2015).

3.2. Some examples to help you

  • You could be a Community Learning Disability Nurse overseeing Rosie’s support while Bob is in hospital, you need to get in touch with Rosie’s teacher informing them that Rosie will be going into foster care because her primary carer (Bob), is no longer able to care for her.
    • Set out your 750 word rationale – why is it important to communicate with Rosie’s teacher?
    • Complete your communication – this could be a letter or an email to Rosie’s teacher
  • You are representing people with dementia and their right to work even after diagnosis. You want to raise awareness for employers about the ‘rights’ of people with dementia. 
    • Set out your 750 word rationale – why is it important to advocate for Bob in this situation? 
    • Complete your communication – this could be a letter to Bob’s employer or perhaps a video for employers designed to raise awareness about peoples right to work after a diagnosis of dementia
  • You are a Child Health nurse working in a medical ward caring for a child from a traveller family. You need to ensure they understand the directions for a complex medicine regime. You are arranging discharge.
    • Set out your 750 word rationale – why is it important to communicate with the child’s family?
    • Complete your communication – this could be a recorded education session or perhaps a leaflet for the family
  • You are a Registered Nurse working on the medical unit where Bob has been treated following his accidental overdose of pain medication and smoke inhalation, he now has a confirmed diagnosis of dementia; you are organising his discharge home.
    • Set out your 750 word rationale – who might you need to communicate with on behalf of Bob, and why?
    • Complete your communication – this could be a discharge plan, or a recording of a telephone call you might have with the District Nurses

Be creative and have some fun while learning how to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of others.

Please submit your 750-word academic rationale and 500-word (or equivalent) communication into the submission drop box in the Assessment Section of the module by:

Some of these resources might help give you ideas about what you could do for your assignment – click the links and have a look.

4.1. Exemplar Academic Rationale

The example is just for guidance to give you an idea of how to go about setting out your 750-word academic rationale 

Think about:

  • the style of writing that you might use
  • the types and range of of evidence (references) you might include
  • where and how to reference sources of evidence throughout your written work

You can access the exemplar here.

Remember to use the University referencing guidance in all your academic writing, you can access this guidance here.

4. Useful Resources

4.2. Sample Letters of Advocacy

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