Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to define the concept to advocate as it applies to nursing at the conclusion of the presentation.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify the core concept, and the five main categories in the advocacy matrix theory.
The nursing profession is entering an exciting time of new professional opportunities and is positioned to determine the trajectory of health care and policy as related to the global health crisis. However, nurses are underrepresented in major forums where they could be change agents. Being a change agent could be accomplished through the nurse’s role as advocate for the patient, profession, and health policy. The aim of this research investigation was to increase the current knowledge about the nurse advocate role and its complexities, and to discover and explicate substantive theory about this role. Benner’s Novice to Expert is congruent with the discovered midrange advocacy matrix theory that explicates the role of the nurse advocate.
This investigation used the grounded theory methodology of Corbin and Strauss, including the philosophies of pragmatism and symbolic interactionism, to examine and discover the advocacy process as it informs the role of the nurse advocate. Thirteen peer-identified FAAN nurse leader/advocates were chosen purposively to form a varied and highly experienced study group. These participants were interviewed and their interview transcripts were used as the primary data sources in addition to the researcher’s field notes, memos and participants’ curriculum vita.
Transcripts were coded using open and axial coding techniques that allowed the emergence of a conceptual definition of advocacy, the core phenomenon to advocate and five categories and their subconcepts. The product was a unique advocacy matrix theory.
This study has contributed to the extant knowledge of the nurse as advocate and has explicated the role of the nurse advocate. This theory has bridged the existing knowledge with a substantive, pragmatic theory that can be applied to and utilized by any nurse in any situation where advocacy is needed locally, nationally or internationally.