Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Rajacich, Dale,

Second Advisor

Lafreniere, Kathy


Social sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Activism, Advocacy, Critical socialtheory, Politics, Social justice, Social mandate




Professional governing bodies of nursing have claimed that registered nurses have a responsibility to fulfill social mandate of political advocacy. Little is known about how nurses can accomplish this task. An exploratory, descriptive study (N=201) was undertaken to examine registered nurse's beliefs and practices regarding the concepts of politics and advocacy and secondly, to explore if nurses believe political activism to be a function of their advocacy role. Results suggest that nurses believe it is important to be politically active and report an interest in learning more about politics. The majority of nurses agreed that politics is the concern of nurses and agreed with the statement, "it is a duty of the nurse to be politically active" Despite these findings, nurses were only moderately active and just 30% of respondents stated that they were motivated to become more involved. Implications for nursing include personal and professional commitments, educational preparation in political science, democracy, policy analysis, and civic engagement, increased membership in professional organizations and workplace professional development in the political domain.