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Advocacy and empowerment: Dichotomous or synchronous concepts?

Falk Rafael, Adeline R. RN, MSN

Nursing Therapeutics

An examination of the concept of advocacy in the nursing literature reflects diverse and sometimes conflicting usage.It may denote a set of behaviors not associated with any specific ethical basis, an approach grounded in a justice ethics, or a philosophical basis for nursing. Although some conceptualizations of advocacy are incongruent with empowerment, others that reflect an existential, relational ethics are indeed synchronous with empowerment. Furthermore, the centrality of mutuality and the nurse-patient relationship to both advocacy and a unitary-transformative approach to caring is consistent with the conditions under which empowerment can occur.

Assistant Professor of Nursing, D'Youville College, Buffalo, New York, Doctoral Candidate, University of Colorado School of Nursing, Boulder, Colorado.

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