Workplace Advocacy

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Work Place Issues

Workplace Advocacy is a planned, organized system of services designed to address the practice challenges nurses face today. These services range from promoting workplace advocating safety, for an environment that fosters safe and effective patient care, to more innovative and assertive measures deployed in response to crisis situations.

  • Focus on the individual nurse and the environment in which he or she works
  • Support nurses professional responsibilities to advocate on one' own behalf
  • Assist nurses to refine communication skills that are open, non-adversarial and invoke a spirit of building bridges to understanding
  • Work collaboratively with nurse executives, managers and administrators
  • Include a system that supports nurses in seeking solutions to problems
  • Develop nurses who are skilled and supported in presenting concerns and resolving conflicts

Survival Skills - stategies that provide the basics for a successful nursing career


  • Give input when asked - employee surveys, feedback to managers
  • Take responsibility for your workplace - work to improve communication
  • Challenge individuals to work through conflict assertively and constructively

Build Bridges

  • Assist your managers to help you - share your needs and concerns
  • Use the "chain of command” appropriately. Work within the system. Consult the HR Department PRN. Progress from manager to VP
  • Support the "team”
  • Reach out - welcome and partner with new staff and agency nurses
  • Try to understand your Managers needs and concerns
  • Use the   Workplace Advocacy Consultation Service


  • Document your concerns in writing - write memos to your manager
  • Keep your message clear, consistent, concise and centered on issues
  • Stress how your concerns are/will affect patient care
  • Use the        Concern For Assignment Form  when you are trying to communicate with others your concerns.

Resolving Workplace Concerns/Conflicts

Here are steps you can take to facilitate early resolution of workplace concerns or conflicts through open dialogue in a fair, equitable manner.

Step 1. Informal Negotiation: When dealing with a workplace concern or conflict:

  • Objectively address your concerns at the level of the issue first
  • Discuss the issue directly the person(s) involved that
  • Base discussion on facts and issues, not personality
  • Use constructive, non threatening statements
  • Avoid accusation. Focus on issue resolution
  • Document dates, points of discussion and response(s)/Keep for future reference
  • Use the   Concern for Assignement Form

Step 2: Follow the Chain of Command: Nurse Manager: If the issue is not resolved with informal negotiation, discussion with your first line supervisor.

  • Describe the issue concisely, using objective, specific details
  • Supply additional information if requested
  • Use constructive, non threatening statements
  • Avoid accusation. Focus on the issue
  • Document date and points of the discussion and response(s)/Keep for future reference.
  • Note: If the issue involves the Nurse Manager, follow your agency’s chain of command. Consult your Human Resources Department PRN.

Step 3: Chain of Command: To be used if resolution has not occurred

  • Follow your agency’s chain of command. Consult your HR Department PRN
  • Document date, points of discussion and response(s)/ Keep for future reference.

Answers to Frequently asked Questions:

How far up the "chain of command” can I go?

All the Way to the Top!
Follow the policy or your HR Department’s advice

Document date, points of discussion and response(s). Keep for future reference.

How long should I wait for resolution?

Depends on the issue

Some issues may take weeks/months to address/resolve

Activity may be occurring that you are unaware of, however, approach your Nurse Manager again if the issue resurfaces of does not improve

Provide additional, objective, issue focused information PRN

How can I decrease my risk in speaking up?

Carefully follow the policy and the HR Department’s advice

Have these guidelines ever worked before?

Yes. One of your peers, a courageous, concerned nurse followed the chain of command to voice her concerns regarding staffing issues on her unit. She addressed her concerns verbally to her Manager on several occasions. She put her concerns in writing, documenting the impact of the staffing ratios, mix and acuity level on patient care. With the advice of a peer, she wrote several drafts to assure she was using constructive, non-threatening statements that focused on issue resolution. After consulting with the HR Department, she sent the information to her Manager and Vice President. As soon as the memo was completed, she felt a sense of hopefulness.

The manager responded with support, the VP discussed her ideas for resolving the issue; and things began to slowly improve on her unit. While many factors came together to resolve the issue she knows that she participated in the solution.

What if I Still Need Help?

Consider Utilizing Workplace Consultant Click Here for More...