The current Standards of
Clinical Nursing Practice and the Code of Ethics for Nurses offers written documentation that
guides the nursing profession in self-regulating and ability to articulate the role of nursing to the
public (Tappen, Weiss, & Whitehead, 2004). Through the support of professional organizations,
the varied information that can be accessed and the involvement opportunities the organization
can continually give to nurse leaders, nursing can be represented in the political process of health care policy reform and make sure that all nurses are represented as a collective voice through the organizations. Utilizing professional organizations in understanding the current legislative bills that affect the practice within the facilities the nurse leader is guiding enhances the ability to advocate and be part of the advocacy of the issues. One such example is the information available from ANA about the Safe Staffing Act, bills H.R. 876 and S. 58 and the Health Care Reform bill H.R. 2. Being aware of the progress of the legislation as well as what support ANA is lending to the process allows a nurse to decide on the level of political involvement they personally want to give and to be aware of changes that will need to be made in policies and procedures within the work environment.
Nurse leaders need to be aware