The role of nurses as patient advocates is well recognised by healthcare professionals, yet the processes and practices involved in patient advocacy are not clearly understood. A suboptimal level of advocacy is often apparent in the literature, encompassing paternalistic concepts of protecting patients from harm. This article examines the concept of patient advocacy and its relevance to nursing, associated goals and outcomes of advocacy and the processes and practices involved. It provides insights into how nurses practise patient advocacy in healthcare settings and how they may develop this role further, through formal education, workplace learning, role modelling by expert nurses and promoting an organisational culture conducive to patient advocacy.
Nursing Standard. 29, 41, 52-58. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.41.52.e9772Correspondence
All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.
Received: 17 November 2014
Accepted: 23 February 2015
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