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Integrating Advocacy into the DNA of Nursing Culture | E8 - Amplified RN News Show

Gilanie De Castro, BSN, RN, OCN, NE-BC, CNML, 2023-2025 ANA\California Board Member and Legislative Director, 2023 Advocacy Institute Fellow, and media-trained nurse, advocates for the integration of frameworks into health systems to support current leadership and advocacy culture.


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Jared Fesler 0:17

Welcome to the Amplified RN News Show where we're turning up the volume on nursing news in California. Today we're going to be diving into the topic of integrating advocacy into the DNA of nursing culture. We're joined today by ANA\California's Legislative Director and media train nurse, Gilanie De Castro. Gilanie, thank you for being here today. Tell us why you're an expert on this topic.

Gilanie De Castro 0:38

Hi Jared, good morning. I'm currently the 2023 2025 Legislative Director for ANA\California. And it has been a very fun and interesting road. For me to get to this position, I served as the government relations chair for the Oncology Nurses Association, California, Los Angeles chapter. And I've participated in various Hill days, and have engaged with legislators, both on the federal and state levels as well, in my organization, and City of Hope. I'm a nurse manager, and I'm involved in our shared governance committees that are focused on getting nurses more involved in advocacy. And it's really my passion for nurses to influence health policy on every level.

Jared Fesler 1:27

So can you tell us a little bit more about what integrating advocacy into the DNA of nursing culture means? Is there a problem or there's a lack of this now?

Gilanie De Castro 1:39

Yes, I believe there is a lack of it. Now, I think, nurses the very The reason people go into nursing, I believe is you know, you want to make impact impacts on people's health and improve health outcomes. And at least my background, going to scrub in an apology nurse for 20 years. Back then the training was very different. It was patient, family centered, but within the walls of an organization or a hospital. And I think now times have changed, where you really have to think beyond the bedside, and see how nursing can impact policies that involve nurse patients at every level, because now patients are not just only in the hospitals, but they're out in the communities. We're taking care of organizations, we're taking care of families, that extends like, not just in one household. So we have to think, nationally and globally, and how we can care for our patients. And the best way for nurses to do this is to be involved in legislation.

Jared Fesler 2:40

So if nurses are taught and education about being a patient advocate, why is there a gap in knowledge when it comes to advocating for their profession?

Gilanie De Castro 2:53

I think it's the focus of the patients at the bedside. And depending on what you specialize, and you are you kind of just have blinders on and focus on your patient population. So it's really getting involved in what's happening in your communities and networking with other nurses, to see that the foundation of the nursing profession, it's in our code of ethics, actually, not just to make an impact within a hospital setting or clinical setting, but to make impact in on the federal or state level, where the nursing knowledge in nursing, compassion, all those things, the values that nursing, the nursing profession has trickles down into every aspect of, of our lives to improve health outcomes.

Jared Fesler 3:47

So how do you recommend health institutions or nursing leadership and as well as the frontline bedside staff start increasing their knowledge or wherewithal around advocacy for their profession?

Gilanie De Castro 4:03

I'm just going back to my journey and how I got so involved in advocacy, I joined nursing organizations, and I think I had some interest prior to that, but they wanted to learn more. And of course, nurses going into the nursing profession. We're learning about science, we're learning about those kinds of principles in school. We're not learning about civics, we're not learning about government necessarily. And so the best choices I've made were really to join and align myself with nursing organizations and especially with California they are focused on advocacy and empowering nurses. And you really get to network and see what who, what other nurses are doing out there and you feel empowered to do more. And I think it's really eye opening once you get to that level to see how how much of an impact nurses can make Yeah, we don't do it. We're almost I think, where are we now 3.5 4 million strong in the nation. And yet we're not joined in the lines on a larger level yet to make these impacts in their communities.

Jared Fesler 5:13

So what are some steps that bedside nurses or nursing leadership can take to increase their advocacy within their institutions?

Gilanie De Castro 5:24

I think it's good to participate in shared governance. So in my institution here at City of Hope, we have a grain committee, that's part of our shared governance. And what we do is we educate nurses on civics and you get them involved in campaigns that will help promote health outcomes. And also just have conversations with your nursing leaders, and you know, have them champion these kinds of causes for the organization, because I think nurses need to join together especially within the organization in order to educate each other and to support each other into having a voice and making their presence known, and all aspects within the organization so that when there are issues that need to be tackled, like for example, like smoking cessation or things like that the nurses have a strong voice, and it can influence what other departments and other leaders do in the organization.

Jared Fesler 6:33

Well, Gilanie De Castro, thank you so much for joining us today. There are clearly so many things for nurses to advocate on not just during the pandemic, but even after and there clearly needs to be more nurses doing so. So thank you for bringing this to our attention and help sharing a little bit more about this today. Thank you to those that are tuning into the amplified our new show. We hope you enjoyed this episode, and we'll see you in the next.


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