Advocacy is the act or process of pleading for, supporting, or recommending a cause or course of action. Advocacy may be for persons (whether as an individual, group, population, or society) or for an issue, such as potable water or global health. (ANA Code of Ethics -2015)

Every day, in countless large and small ways, you make the world a better place. These moments of everyday advocacy change lives by elevating the voices of vulnerable people, and improving conditions for those around you.

As the largest group of health professionals in America, and consistently the highest ranked in terms of ethical behavior by the public, nurses are in a unique position to influence the direction of both the profession and healthcare.

ANA has declared 2018 the Year of Advocacy, and throughout the year we’ll be sharing stories of how nurses have used their influence to shape and bring about change, both at the #BedsideAndBeyond.

We'll be highlighting different nurse advocates, tools, tips, and services each quarter through a different lens: from local to global, focusing on the impact and contribution of nurses at every level.

Karen Nuremberg-Sooner

"In politics where consensus is a way of moving issues forward, collaboration, debate, discussion and sometimes a discourse is a necessary tool of progress. Without listening and learning from each other, we will never get anything done.;
Marketa Houskova, RN, MAIA, BA >>

Karen Nuremberg-Sooner

"Political advocacy and nursing practice are synergistic, not mutually exclusive. Nurses are experts in patient care delivery, and our voice is needed in policy discussions at all levels.;
Justin Gill, MS, RN >>

Karen Nuremberg-Sooner

"Being active and affecting change in the work place is very rewarding.;
Karen Nuremberg-Sooner,RN, CLEC, Leading Change in the Workplace >>

Angela Larson

"I make every effort to provide guidance that allows for better choices regarding health and self-management of their disease.;
Angela Larson, MSN, RN, Connecting to Patients on a Personal Level >>

Molly Flowers

"We must work together proactively and collaboratively to make nursing homes safe.;
Molly Flowers, BS, ADN, RN, Impacting care through government and beyond >>

Sally Duncan

"Advocacy means to plead the cause of another. It is based on empathy.;
Sally Duncan, RN, BSN, Treating Everyone with the Dignity They Deserve >>

Sue Peck

"After about a month of back and forth advocating, the insurance company paid for the treatment and the patient began to recover.;
Sue Peck, PhD, GNP-BC, APNP, FAAO, APT, CHTP/I, Getting patients the care they need >>

Karen Knapp

"Get involved and help make a difference in everyone's future!;
Karen M. Knapp, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA, Getting my voice heard in DC >>

Joan Widmer

"Use our collective voice to improve healthcare for all;
Joan Widmer, MS, MSBA, RN, CEN, Nurses engaging federal and state legislators >>

Cynthia Stone

"I have developed close relationships with several legislators on the taskforce and with others who have constituent interest in the opioid issue to move these bills forward;
Cynthia Stone, DrPH,RN, Nurses using their voice to influence State policy >>

Jessica Whelan

"I find that in order to be active politically, I have had to think of it as an integral part of my practice"
Jessica Whelan, FPMHNP-BC, Amplifying the Voice of my Patients >>

Barbara Zittel

"Find a dream and then apply passion and collaboration to actualize it."
Barbara Zittel, PhD, RN, developing a plan and keeping your eyes on the end goal >>

Jamie McBride

"Nurses have the capacity to create change. Never lose your passion for patient advocacy!"
Solid Organ Transplant Program Manager, Jamie L. McBride, MSN, RN, CCTC, discovering new ways to fight for patients. >>

Sarah Oerther

"Obstacles can become opportunities for more community involvement in community-driven solutions."
ANA Member Sarah Oerther, MSN, M.Ed., RN, F.RSPH builds community and tackles food insecurity through community gardening. >>

Lisa Sundean

"Advocacy is part of nurses' ethical obligation and a natural extension of caring."
Find out ANA Member Lisa J. Sundean, PhD, RN advocates for her communities as a board member and volunteer. >>

Audrey Hardy

"Five years ago, it was just me knowing that something needed to be done, but now we have more than 100 organizations involved who are energized about improving quality of life and care in our county."
Discover how ANA Member Audrey Hardy MSN RN is leading local efforts to improve community health outcomes. >>


"My advice is to always advocate for your patient and remember that the chain of command is there to navigate until your patient's needs are met."
Read more from ANA Member Donna-Kay Hylton on prioritizing patient safety. >>

"My Christian faith is why I came to St. Joseph's, but my professional goal is to advocate for all my patients regardless of religious faith."
Find out how ANA Member Cheryl Peterson MSN RN advocates for patients during challenging moments. >>

"I am one nurse trying to be heard among 100s of voices in a large institution. Lesson learned: collaborate and persist!"
Find out how ANA Member Patricia Phelps MSN, Ed RN advocates for zero-tolerance workplace violence policies. >>

"It is important to talk to your family and loved ones about the medical care that you would want or not want at end of life."
Read more from ANA Member Constance Ducharme RN BSN CHPN on advocating for end of life care. >>

Tell us: how are YOU are making a difference at the #BedsideAndBeyond?

Have you spoken up for patient-focused process changes? Contributed to revising workplace policies? Served on a committee or board? Called, emailed, or met with elected officials? We want to hear about it!

Click here to share your story about being an everyday advocate.

Nurses advocating locally

Advocacy at the bedside and in your community is immensely powerful. The local advocacy we’ve seen among our members includes: patient-focused practice changes and process improvements; workplace safety policies addressing such issues as staffing, workplace violence, safe patient handling; and representing the interests of patients and the profession while serving on a committee or board.

Nurses influencing elected officials

In the spring we’ll look at nurses’ efforts to impact change with key decision makers at the local, state or federal levels. From employer specific, to immediate community, to state legislative and regulatory, to federal levels. Individuals have influence as well as coalitions!

Nurses get out the vote!

With the approach of Election Day, the contribution of nurses in advocacy is even more important. Nurses can leverage their position as the most trusted profession to impact policy change and 2018 campaigns. We’ll feature nurses who are participating in a campaign or are currently in or running for an elected or appointed position.

Nurses making a global impact

Nurses not only can impact their communities, states, and country’s policies, regulations, and well-being, but can be global advocates as well! We’ll look at the 2018 elections and the impact on the political advocacy work individually and in coalition, as well as offer tips and words of wisdom from our members on how to make every year a year of advocacy at any level, in any role and setting.


Click here to share your story, or contact us with any questions:
Janet Haebler, Senior Associate Director, State Government Affairs,, (301-628-5111).