Government Affairs

Student Policy Summit

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The AACN Student Policy Summit is a three-day conference held in Washington, DC and is open to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students enrolled at an AACN member institution. Students who attend SPS are immersed in a program sessions focused on the federal policy process and nursing’s role in professional advocacy. A maximum of five students per member institution will be allowed to register for the conference. The 2015 Summit will take place March 22-24, 2015 at the Park Hyatt Washington.


View the 2015 Student Policy Summit Agenda
Please note: We will have a fairly robust schedule for the Summit, and unfortunately are not able to build in time for sightseeing. If you would like to take advantage of some of the recreational opportunities available in Washington, DC, we suggest you consider extending your travel time to experience the city either before or after the Summit.


Understanding Your Advocacy Role: Preparing for Your Capitol Hill Visits
Speaker: Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, Director of Government Affairs and Health Policy, American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Understanding the Power of Your Voice
Speakers: Lauren Inouye, MPP, Associate Director of Government Affairs, American Association of Colleges of Nursing; and Rachel Stevenson, Legislative Director, Polsinelli

Translating Nursing Research into Policy
Speaker: Patricia Grady, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director, National Institute of Nursing Research


Sponsorship of the 2015 Student Policy Summit will help ensure the Summit remains an affordable experience for all students, and your support is integral to its success. If your institution is interested in sponsoring, please contact Lauren Inouye at linouye@aacn.nche.eduamClick here for more information on specific sponsorship packages.


Please note that only the following meals and snacks will be provided, and that participants should consider the 2015 SPS agenda when planning off-site meals. If students have any special requests/needs, such as food allergies please send requests to Leeza Constantoulakis at once you have confirmation of Summit registration.

Your Summit registration fees include:


  • light lunch fare
  • evening reception (appetizers)


  • continental breakfast, snack break, evening reception (appetizers)


  • continental breakfast, lunch

There are small markets, a Starbucks, a Trader Joe’s, as well as several cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the Park Hyatt Washington for your dining needs.

Important Information for Your Capitol Hill Visits  

As nursing students from AACN member schools, you will be serving as ambassadors for the hundreds of thousands of nursing students across the country. Sending one clear message about support for nursing education and research helps Congress understand the needs of nursing students and nursing schools. Your personal story, however, can lend a unique voice to the united advocacy message, and we will talk more about this during the Summit.


While the exact issues and talking points will be developed and disseminated to SPS registrants before and during the conference, please note that registrants are encouraged to become familiar with some of AACN’s main advocacy priorities:

How Visits are Arranged
Capitol Hill visits will be arranged by AACN or a member dean from your state who is attending the AACN Spring Meeting. You will receive information about your specific visits just prior to the Summit. Please do not contact your legislators to schedule your own visits. All students will visit offices for the state in which they are enrolled as students, and will help deans and AACN representatives carry a key message supporting nursing education and research. It is important that participants deliver one, unified message in order to most effectively advocate on behalf of the profession. Multiple or personal requests of Congress dilute the importance of a national advocacy day.



The dress code for Summit events on Sunday is business casual. For those who have not attended a national conference before, plan on wearing shirts with collars or sweaters, dress pants, or skirts. Flip flops, denim, t-shirts, sneakers, and shorts are not appropriate. The dress code for Summit events on Monday and Tuesday is professional attire. Men should wear suits and ties, and women should wear pants or skirts/dress suits. Suits are always encouraged for Capitol Hill visits. Because we will be conducting Hill visits and attending a reception on Monday evening, students should select footwear that is business appropriate and comfortable.

Closing Ceremony and Induction into the SPS Academy

Please note that our Closing Session luncheon and SPS Academy Induction on Tuesday afternoon is an important component of the Summit. If possible, please plan your travel so that you do not miss this event.

2015 Student Policy Summit Webinars

A Civics Refresher: Preparing for the Student Policy Summit
(Originally aired January 13, 2015)
Register for Webinar Archive

Making Hill Visits During AACN’s Student Policy Summit: Insiders’ Perspectives
(Originally aired February 17, 2015)
Register for Webinar Archive

Countdown to AACN’s 2015 Student Policy Summit: Preparing for a Successful Experience
(Originally aired March 5, 2015)
Register for Webinar Archive

NOTE: To register for upcoming or archived webinars, you must log into your My AACN account.

Testimony from Past Student Policy Summit Attendees

Jessica Ciaramella
2014 SPS Attendee

"The Student Policy Summit was an excellent learning experience. It provides a solid foundation for nurses from all educational backgrounds to understand the legislative process. The speakers at the Summit are very influential and provide various insight and knowledge. The Summit provides the attendees the opportunity to meet with legislators and other policy experts from your state. Meeting with the legislators is a phenomenal opportunity to not only see Washington D.C., but to also understand how influential nurses are on the policy process. Every nurse has the power to influence policy. Nurses need to stand as one united front when advocating for our profession and improvements in health care. I have recently graduated from Wayne State University's Doctor of Nursing Practice program. My clinical inquiry project was a Policy Analysis: Standardization Of Nursing Education For Entry Into Practice. I took my tools away from the Summit to complete my project. These tools were to not only understand the legislative process, but also understanding where different legislators come from, and furthering developing skills to communicate to legislators. I would hands down recommend the Student Policy Summit to any student at undergraduate or graduate levels if they have an interest in Policy. I know for me it has only confirmed that I have a strong interest in pursuing a policy career in the future."

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Shivana Srivastava
2014 SPS Attendee

"My attendance at the 2014 AACN Student Policy Summit (SPS) served as another defining moment in my nursing career. I was never aware of the power nurses hold, through advocacy efforts for policy enactment and change, until I was given the opportunity to witness it first-hand at the SPS. Empowering nurses and allied healthcare professionals to get involved in policy mobilizes support to create advancements for the nursing profession as a whole. I was given insight into this statement when my Dean, peers, and I were successful in voicing the importance of Title VIII funding to a Congressman who agreed to sign a Dear Colleague letter of support. The SPS taught me that speaking with one voice is much stronger than an individual voice; joining our advocacy and constituency efforts are the primary ways to making a difference. Nurses are naturally advocates for their patients at the bedside. They possess the knowledge and ability to transition these advocacy efforts from the bedside to members of Congress and, in return, achieve successes for nurses and patients nationwide. My personal excitement from the SPS became inspiration for me to apply for the AACN Government Affairs Internship this past summer. My internship with AACN and the attending the SPS have validated that interacting and aligning with nursing policy leaders, nursing coalitions, and local/federal legislators at the policy forefront is necessary to make the nursing voice heard and retrieve answers to healthcare issues."

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