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33.1 The Importance of Nurse Advocacy

Nurses have an ethical responsibility to advocate for change to support populations most at risk for inequities. Nurse advocates work to address the social determinants of health that create health disparities among populations. The nursing profession can act to reduce disparities and advance health through advocacy at many levels.

33.2 Advocacy in Population Health

Nurse advocacy involves assessment, collaboration, and communication. To be effective advocates, nurses must seek information to be fully informed about the issues affecting the populations they serve. Nurses can act locally, regionally, nationally, or globally to advocate for changes that will improve the health of communities and populations. The 2021 Future of Nursing report provides guidance regarding the priorities of nursing as it relates to community-based health care.

33.3 Advocacy and Coalition Building

Nursing coalitions can be more effective than individual advocacy. They enable members to share expertise and resources, and they lend credibility to issues of concern. Prominent national and state organizations have developed nursing advocacy coalitions, and many national coalitions have local chapters where nurses can become involved. Colleges and universities provide avenues for student nurses to participate in advocacy efforts.


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