Saint Louis University

Five nursing students learned a lesson in politics and advocacy at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Student Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., last week.

Nursing students participated in a policy summit for first-hand experience with advocacy.

The policy immersion program exposes students to the political process and gives them experience in advocating for nursing education, practice and research. It draws students from nursing education programs across the country.

Accompanied by Teri Murray, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing, the students met with members of the Missouri legislative delegation on Capitol Hill. They told legislative staff in the offices of Sen. Roy Blunt and Sen. Claire McCaskill why it's critical to preserve and protect federal funding for nursing. They touted the importance of supporting the Nursing Workforce Development programs, the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Nursing Research and the Nursing Managed Health Clinics.

Two of the students shared stories of the benefits of Title VIII funding. Elvin Guevarra, who is in the nursing school's traditional bachelors program, received a Health Resources and Services Administration's Workforce Diversity Grant. Shannon Shepard, who is in the advance practice nursing master's program, is the recipient of an Advanced Nursing Education Traineeship.

Other students who participated in the summit were Zachary Fox, accelerated baccalaureate nursing program; Joe Williams, accelerated master's program and Michael Irdegaard, accelerated baccalaureate nursing program.