Episode 229: How Advocacy Can Shape Your Nursing Career

“Oftentimes, local policy changes are the ones that are going to influence your day-to-day practice most directly—and are the ones where your voice has the most power because you’re closer to the decision makers. There are so many ways for nurses to become involved in advocacy, and it can be simple things just like voting or being knowledgeable on the issues,” Erica Fischer-Cartlidge, DNP, RN, AOCNS®, EBP-C, chief clinical officer at ONS, told Lenise Taylor, MN, RN, AOCNS®, BMTCN®, oncology clinical specialist at ONS. Fischer-Cartlidge explained how she discovered advocacy and encouraged oncology nurses to get involved at multiple levels and speak out for their colleagues and patients. You can earn free NCPD contact hours after listening to this episode by completing the evaluation linked below.

Music Credit: “Fireflies and Stardust” by Kevin MacLeod

Licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0

Earn 0.25 contact hours of nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) by listening to the full recording and completing an evaluation at myoutcomes.ons.org by October 14, 2024. The planners and faculty for this episode have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose. ONS is accredited as a provider of NCPD by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Episode Notes

To discuss the information in this episode with other oncology nurses, visit the ONS Communities.

To provide feedback or otherwise reach ONS about the podcast, email pubONSVoice@ons.org.

Highlights From Today’s Episode

“We think of advocacy and policy, and our minds automatically go to the national level in Washington, DC. But advocacy at the local level, even within a local organization or regionally at the state level, are just as important, if not more sometimes. There are so many ways for nurses to become involved, and it can be simple things just like voting or being knowledgeable on the issues. And then even bigger like supporting a candidate or communicating with legislators.” Timestamp (TS) 03:18

“Oftentimes, local policy changes are the ones that are going to influence your day to day most directly. And the ones where your voice has the most power because you’re closer to the decision makers. For example, if your hospital was proposing policies around mandatory overtime or floating throughout the hospital, you would really be impacted by those decisions. But chances are, people who are making the decisions are also those you are interacting with on a routine basis. . . . So being involved and sharing your knowledge and experience with decision makers can really influence the outcome.” TS 03:58

“Policy I see as a responsibility to my patients and colleagues now. . . . Politics, which is largely about the process of how things get done, is different from the policy, which is the principles we have to guide what we do. I may not like the process of how something gets done, but that doesn’t mean I can turn away from the decisions that are made through the process, because they are going to be the standards that govern my day to day. Whatever side of the aisle you fall on, ultimately, we want to do what’s best for the patients and the profession. That’s what the policy is all about.” TS 07:05

“Awareness I think is the biggest thing that nurses need. Take time to read what issues are up for discussion and the implications of them, sign up for newsletters related to healthcare advocacy so you’re routinely informed, think about what you would want the people who are making the decisions on the issues to know. These are small steps that can really be the foundation.” TS 14:26

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