OJN  Vol.5 No.3 , March 2015
Patient Advocacy and the Affordable Care Act: The Growing Need for Nurses to Be Culturally Aware
Abstract: The nurse-patient relationship is centered on patient advocacy. Patient advocacy is essential in providing individualized care and improving health outcomes. With the recent implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the patient advocacy concept requires further exploration. Published literature involving patient advocacy’s history, uses, definition, past analyses and nursing perceptions were examined. Outcomes of this literature review lead to further examining patient advocacy and how it is applied to culturally diverse patient populations, patient advocacy in nursing curricula and related research. Overall study results indicate that patient advocacy is associated with enhanced health encounters that include nurses presenting patients with understandable healthcare options and supporting patients with their healthcare preference. Although, this review identified positive outcomes of patient advocacy, nursing research must be directed toward creating a patient advocacy definition and measuring advocacy from a patient’s perspective. There is also a need for nursing leaders to consider placing a higher emphasis on cultural awareness research and education due to an increased rate of culturally diverse patients now seeking care through the Affordable Care Act.
Cite this paper: Ronnebaum, E. and Schmer, C. (2015) Patient Advocacy and the Affordable Care Act: The Growing Need for Nurses to Be Culturally Aware. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 237-245. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.53028.

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