Purpose/Objectives: To identify the ways oncology nurses in one state advocate for patients, as well as the resources they use to do so.
Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional survey.
Setting: North Carolina.
Sample: 141 RNs in North Carolina who were members of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).
Methods: Subjects completed a two-page, self-administered questionnaire comprised of fixed-choice and open-ended questions.
Main Research Variables: Demographics, frequency of advocating for patient services, and awareness of ONS resources.
Findings: Nurses in North Carolina advocate for patients in a variety of ways. A need exists to develop ongoing methods to keep nurses up to date on advocacy issues, as well as to establish mentoring opportunities for them. Nurses believe that they are most challenged in addressing patients' financial and insurance concerns.
Conclusions: Oncology nurses frequently advocate for patients' needs. The findings provide direction for future initiatives to educate nurses about their role in patient advocacy and available resources.
Implications for Nursing: Ongoing education and research are needed to enhance the role of oncology nurses as patient advocates.