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"Fine Lines of Nurse Advocacy"
Fine Lines of Nurse Advocacy
Sean Wilson
Laurie Amons


Prof. Eliadi

November 14,

Role Research Paper

The Fine Lines of Nurse Advocacy

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term advocate as " one who pleads the case of another" (1989). The legal view of advocacy encompasses the definition of advocacy as a consultation between client and lawyer before a court proceeding (Woodrow 1997). The International Council of Nursing (ICN) has included nurse advocacy in their code since the 1970s. In recent nursing literature " nurse advocacy" has become somewhat of a buzzword connected with the concepts of nurse autonomy, ethics, moral issues and the view of patients as health consumers. Although the nurse that advocates for their client has no real legal standing among the health professions, the importance of such advocacy arises often as a binding, if legally un-recognized, unsaid contract between the nurse and the client. Henderson's theory of nursing says that advocacy is "a separate identity, not included in the medical models of treatment" (Henderson, 1960). The question arises, Is Nurse based advocacy on the client's behalf more of a philosophical endeavor taken on by the nurse as an overpowering internal drive to protect the client? Or does the advocacy of the client's rights and wishes by nurses serve an ideal avenue for the lobbying of said rights in a legal and political venue? The arguments for both sides are persuasive, leaving that fine line uncrossed by either side.

Advocacy for the client has evolved throughout the years in the medical community an endeavor taken on by the professional nurse. History shows us that the archaic reverence given to physicians is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Florence Nightingale first introduced the theory of patient advocacy in an indirect manner. Her belief that "the world was unsafe, requiring that the patient be protected from its environmental and social effects...

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