“A life changing experience,” is how Michelle McKay, MSN, RN, CCRN describes her recent participation, along with fellow PhD student Brittany Stark, MSN, RN, in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Student Policy Summit held in Washington, D.C. Both women were on Capitol Hill on March 21st as part of the Summit. They are also Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholars, funded by Independence Blue Cross Foundation.
The Summit is a three-day conference. Students are in didactic program sessions focused on the federal policy process and nursing’s role in professional advocacy. They also visit Senate and House offices on the Hill. “The Student Policy Summit opened my eyes to the power nurses hold in successfully influencing health policy,” notes Stark. McKay adds, “Nurses are essential to ensuring our patients have access to safe and high quality care. As healthcare experts, nurses must use their collective voice to advocate for the needs of our patients to legislators in both local and federal government.”