School of Nursing student joins national nursing policy organization
As a Student Fellow, junior nursing major Jada Dingess joined School of Nursing Director Tony Ramsey for the three-day American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Student Policy Summit March 22-24 in Washington, D.C.
During her fellowship, Dingess was trained in professional conduct and advocacy and visited with Virginia Representatives Barbara Comstock and Morgan Griffith during a visit to the United States Capitol. Ramsey and Dingess also visited with visited with the health policy staff members for Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
"As nurses, we are educators and I want to be as knowledgeable about health care policy as I am about individual patient care," said the Winchester native who was the sole undergraduate student in the Virginia contingent of advanced practice nurses and nursing educators.
Dingess joined representatives from all 50 states in the program that focused on the federal policy process and nursing's role in professional advocacy.
"I think I was able to bring back to school an appreciation for how nurses need to be assertive about sharing their roles in health care policy discussions as well as their value to patient care." said Dingess, a second-level nursing student who squeezed the summit in between classes and her scheduled clinical rotations on the medical/surgical and obstetrics units at two local hospitals.
"The experience at the summit really made me appreciate the hierarchy into which what I am doing as I do my rounds and in class fits," she said. "It was a completely different look at the health care system and how it works."
"Jada was articulate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic," said Director of the School of Nursing Tony Ramsey, a member of the AACN Government Affairs Committee whose charge is to educate and advocate for nursing education, research and practice. "She had a unique opportunity to understand and share the nurse's perspective on health care policy and improving patient outcomes."
AACN is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education and represents 750 member schools of nursing at public and private universities and senior colleges nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education; assists schools in implementing those standards; influences the nursing profession to improve health care; and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research and practice.