Six Lessons for Nurse Advocates

September 22nd, 2012 By: Betty Long

Many thanks to the planning committee and volunteers who made the 2012 RN-AIM (Registered Nurse Association in Michigan) Annual Conference a smashing success!  This year's theme for the conference, on September 20th and 21st, was "Nurse As Advocate" and I was honored to be invited to give the keynote presentation to kick off the meeting.

My presentation was entitled, "Nurses: If Florence Could See Us Now."  My intent in setting the tone for the conference was to present Florence Nightingale as the first patient advocate as well as to suggest six 'lessons' from Nightingale's work that would still be apropos' today for nurses work as advocates. 

Those lessons are:

1.  Keep the focus on patients

2.  Set the bar high

3.  Make your case with data

4.  Build and maintain good relationships

5.  Stay true to who you are

6. Keep a sense of humor

I encourage all nurses, who have always advocated for patients, to continue their work and to continue the work of the first nurse advocate, Florence Nightingale.

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