Students Advocate for Nursing in Washington, DC

April 12, 2016

AACN 2016

Highlights from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Student Policy Summit

Senior BSN students Jill Bolduc ‘16, Elisa Duguay ‘16, Kelsey Mills ‘16, and direct entry MSN student Rose Tarsio traveled to our national’s capital to engage in dialogue and attend educational sessions focused on federal policy and the nurse advocacy role.

Among the highlights of AACN’s Student Policy Summit students mentioned keynote speaker, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, Deputy Surgeon General, who addressed transformation in health care, preventative care, access to care and the critical role nurses play in this work.

Students also met with staff members of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Edward Markey to seek their support of Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs, the National Institute of Nursing Research and co-sponsorship of the Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act. Students also networked at the Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill.

SNHS Dean Judy Beal accompanied students on their the Capitol Hill visits and was struck by the poise and professionalism of Simmons students. “They have a strong voice and showed they’re ready to be the future leaders of nursing by delivering powerful and effective messages to Legislative aides and staff members.”

Overall, Simmons students valued the exposure to policy and its impact on nursing. The summit also gave them a strong sense of community and heightened their interest in advocacy for future.

Jill Bolduc

Going to Capitol Hill was a once in a lifetime experience that I will cherish forever. To be able to advocate for the nursing profession as a representative of Massachusetts with colleagues and Dean Beal was one of the most humbling and honorable experiences I have had the pleasure of participating in. I felt truly blessed to be surrounded and mentored by some of the most intelligent, selfless and confident nurses and leaders around the country.

Elisa Duguay

This summit really opened my eyes to the other side that being a nurse has to offer. I have now been exposed to those with the same educational background as myself go on to take on very influential positions in both the house of representatives as well as congress. I would like in the future to have a larger voice in how health policy affects the nursing practice.

Kelsey Mills

I left feeling not only empowered but obligated to fulfill my role as an advocate for nursing and healthcare. The experience of being in a room full of bright individuals committed to advancing nursing and healthcare policy was inspiring and very re-assuring for the future of nursing! Bringing all of our hard work to Capitol Hill with the support of many AACN Deans was an experience of a lifetime!

Rose Tarsio

The Student Policy Summit was a great experience that has changed my perception of health care, and was a wonderful opportunity to connect with other nursing students who are passionate about making a difference in health policy.


Pictured left to right:
Rose Tarsio, Kelsey Mills, Dean Judy Beal, Jill Bolduc and Elisa Duguay