Barriers and Challenges to Being an Effective Advocate and Strategies

Barriers and Challenges to Being an Effective Advocate and Strategies or Interventions to Combat the Challenges

Barriers and Challenges

Nursing advocacy is an essential part of the duties that a nurse needs to carry throughout her career. However, despite the efforts of nurses to fully implement their advocacy, they are faced with several challenges which include,

  • Dealing with the elderly, contrary to the young patients, elderly patients require more devotion and concentration. Explaining medical and surgical procedures to elderly patients possess a challenge and is more time consuming for nurse, limiting the nurse’s time.(Hanks, 2012)
  • Conflict of Interest, another notable challenge is the conflict of interest between the nurse’s responsibility to the institution he or she is employed and the patient he or she is representing.
  • Lack of power or support, nurses also faces the enigma of lacking the proper support from the institution to support the patient or lack the power to fully fulfill nursing advocacy duties which creates a challenge.(Olin, 2012)
  • Threats of punishment, nursing advocacy is also limited by the threats of poor evaluation, being reprimanded, intimidation, ostracism and the like from the institution if the advocacy goes against the institutions benefits.

Strategies or Interventions

  • Special training, it would be highly beneficial if nurses were offered extra training on how to educate and explain medical risks and procedures to the patients, especially the elderly.
  • Beneficiaries for medical and surgical procedures, another strategy would be offering beneficiaries to patients undergoing complicated medical and surgical procedures. Also offering nurses some beneficiaries for motivation.(Reza Negarandeh, Fatemeh Oskouie & Fazlollah, 2005)
  • Understanding the scope of practice, to overcome some institutional barriers, it is essential for the nurses to understand what is required of them in the state they practice and to also ensure they understand the laws that protect nurses.
  • Clear and effective communication, sometimes in their process as being advocates, nurses can have the problem of lacking effective communication skills, to overcome this barrier, nurses must ensure their communication skills are top-notch.
  • Nursing education, ensuring you uphold nursing education is also another strategy to overcome barriers.



Hanks, R. (2012, February). From our readers…Practical approaches to patient advocacy barriers. Retrieved from American Nurse Today:

Olin, J. (2012, February 13). What Exactly is Patient Advocacy. Retrieved from RN Central:

Reza Negarandeh, Fatemeh Oskouie & Fazlollah. (2005). Patient advocacy: barriers and facilitators. BMC Nursing, 5:3