Sample Healthcare Paper on Embracing Health Advocacy and Policy

Nursing Supported Legislation

            In 2017, the state of California passed a legislation aimed at tackling violence at the workplace. The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved rules to mitigate workplace violence in health care institutions. The legislation is called SB 1299 and it was passed back in 2014. The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) sponsored the bill. The bill will have profound effects for nurses at the clinical setting.

The legislation is considered to be a landmark regulation and a model for the federal government and other states. It requires all healthcare providers to create a comprehensive plan for the prevention of violence at the workplace. The plans must examine threats as well as risk of verbal and physical attacks and how to reduce the risk. Nurses must be included in the planning. The guidelines require competency validation, hands-on-training, and technical controls like alarms. SB 1299 includes the whole health facility, even the parking garages. Further, it requires internal incident records and reporting to California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board even if an incident had no injury. In addition, there is a provision that bans reprisal if a nurse calls or reports to law enforcement. On that account, the legislation ensures that all healthcare institutions are therapeutic and safe. Nurses cannot facilitate a level of care required by their patients of they are unsafe. If nurses are at risk, then everybody within the healthcare setting is unsafe. Therefore, as the legislation ensures that nurses are safe, it raises the level of care in a hospital. It should be enforced at the national level.



Advocacy and Leadership

            A major problem in today’s healthcare setting is violence against nurses and other health workers as a from of retaliation by patients and even senior hospital staff. This violence is reducing the ability of nurses to provide the best level of care for patients. In this situation, nurses should put their advocacy aptitude to test in advocating for each other and the entire nursing profession (Walker, 2015). To that extent nursing advocates should lean towards the caring model, which facilitates a clear outline for advocating for co-workers and patients. With the caring model, a nurse begins with the assumption that the individual he/she is working with has skills that are valuable, that they are working hard, that they want to learn and improve, and that they have the upmost intentions. When nurses begin with such an attitude, it gives that individual the best opportunity of asserting control of his/her situation and attaining success (Walker, 2015). Indeed, even though the implementation of the caring model is at its infancy stages in hospitals across the country, the institutions are already witnessing an increase in understating, empathy, and awareness among nurses.

A key feature of nursing advocacy at the legislative level is to hold firmly to competencies and procedures that ensures both patients and nurses are safe, as well as including nurses in deciding how evidence-based practices and guidelines will be implemented. A good illustration of this kind of advocacy is discussed above; the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) sponsored the SB 1299 bill, which ensures that nurses are protected from workplace violence. Since nurses form a core part of the healthcare workforce, they can use this position to ensure policy makers enforce laws that only protect them, but also other healthcare workers.


Quality Improvement Practice and Principles

A critical issue in nursing is the education and professional development of nurses. On that account, nursing leaders should focus on creating and developing leaders. They should develop their succession strategy early. One cannot do it all alone. A nurse leader should identify formal and informal leaders and invests resources in them; they should take their juniors to meetings, have them make presentations to other medical staff, and senor administrative staff (DiCenso, Guyatt, & Ciliska, 2014). By doing so, a senior nurse will be training his/her subordinates to be the next leaders.

Another practice that nursing leadership can engage in to promote professional development is building personal accountability. It is important to hold each employee accountable for the part they contribute to the overall objective. Nursing leadership should create a scorecard for every employee and conduct meetings after every three months to determine their accomplishments, progress, and growth opportunities (DiCenso, Guyatt, & Ciliska, 2014). The SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) method usually works well. Nursing leadership should facilitate employees with the SWOT document completed after their 3-momth one to one meeting. A nurse leader should be sure to note down the specific objectives and dates for when they should be realized (DiCenso, Guyatt, & Ciliska, 2014). This is a simple method of maintaining accurate records on the performance of each employee, and enables the professional development of all nurses in a healthcare institution.

Overall, nurse leaders are bound to encounter many barriers on the path to success. Nonetheless, if a nurse leader makes up his/her mind, and trains himself/herself to stay focused and committed, and develops a team that will help in realizing the objectives and goals of serving the community, he she will be successful in developing future nursing leaders.

Patient Safety and Quality Improvement

The need of safety and quality improvement programs is essential in healthcare. Quality healthcare is described as the level at which health services for populations and individuals enhance the chance of suitable health outcomes and match the present professional understanding. The Institute of medicine Report, To Err Is Human, suggest that a large percentage of medical errors are due to faulty processes and systems, rather than individuals (Maughan, Duff, & Wright, 2016). Processes that are indifferent and inefficient, health insurance, differences in provider experience and education, and changing situation variables in patients lead to the multifaceted nature of healthcare. On that account, nurses should follow the recommendations of the report which states six objectives of healthcare: efficient, safety, equitable, timely, effective, and patient centered (Maughan, Duff, & Wright, 2016). The objectives of safety and effectiveness are targeted through examining whether nurses perform processes that have been proved to arraign the desired objectives and avoid the procedures that are inclined towards harm. The objectives of measuring the quality of health care are to determine the impact of healthcare on suitable outcomes and to examine the level at which healthcare confines to the procedures based on empirical evidence and endorsed by professional bodies and matches the needs of patients.

Since errors are the result of process or system failures, it is critical that nurses embrace different process-improvement methods to highlight ineffective care, preventable mistake, and other inefficiencies to enable changes related to the systems (Maughan, Duff, & Wright, 2016). All of these methods entail examining performance and utilizing results to create change. By embracing these methods, nurses can improve patient safety and engage in quality improvement.



DiCenso, A., Guyatt, G., & Ciliska, D. (2014). Evidence-Based Nursing-E-Book: A Guide to Clinical Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Duncan, S., Thorne, S., & Rodney, P. (2015). Evolving trends in nurse regulation: What are the policy impacts for nursing’s social mandate? Nursing Inquiry22(1), 27-38.

Maughan, E. D., Duff, C., & Wright, J. (2016). Using the framework for 21st-century school nursing practice in daily practice. NASN School Nurse31(5), 278-281.

Walker, D. K., Barton-Burke, M., Saria, M. G., Gosselin, T., Ireland, A., Norton, V., & Newton, S. (2015). Everyday advocates: nursing advocacy is a full-time job. AJN The American Journal of Nursing115(8), 66-70.