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The Concept of Advocacy in Nursing: A Critical Analysis

Kalaitzidis, Evdokia PhD; Jewell, Paul PhD

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000079

As health care professionals practice as a team, they take on responsibilities that are specific to their roles—responsibilities that are recognized and understood by the team and management as pertaining to their professional domain and expertise. Is advocacy part of the role of the nurse? Members of the nursing profession commonly maintain that it is, but is there a consensus on this issue, both within the profession and among other stakeholders? Is there a clear understanding of the term advocacy, and is this reflected in Codes of Practice and research into practice? An examination of significant documents and reports of empirical research reveals conflicting conceptions and opinions. There is potential for a common definition, but agreements need to be reached on whether advocacy is an essential function of nursing within the management of health care, and if so, what is advocacy’s importance, focus, and limits.

Author Affiliations: Health Sciences Medicine and Nursing, Flinders University, South Australia.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Evdokia Kalaitzidis, PhD, Health Sciences Medicine and Nursing, Flinders University, South Australia (

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