ANA-Illinois has been carefully watching the daily/hourly COVID-19 updates from the CDC, Gov. Pritzker’s Office, and other agencies, particularly as it pertains to large gatherings and events in the state. Student Nurse Political Action Day (SNPAD) brings in 1200+ students from across the state of Illinois, and we were planning on 200+ nurses for Nurse Lobby Day. We also planned to hold our 6th Annual Evening with the Legislators on the evening of March 31st.
After much consideration and the wavering levels of uncertainty around COVID-19 spreading in Illinois, as well as the many health risks involved in holding large events, we have decided to cancel our events on March 31st. This decision was not taken lightly, but we know as nurses, we cannot move forward and place lives at risk for contracting COVID-19.
We have been contemplating alternative ways to disseminate the valuable information provided during SNPAD. Additional details will follow, but our initial plans include the dissemination of videos to our school partners who were planning on sending students to SNPAD. The videos would allow faculty to determine their best use in educating students on the importance of political action and professional engagement.
We have decided to hold our 2020 Nurse Lobby Day virtually. So, please join your nurse colleagues on Wednesday, April 1st, as we discuss bills of importance to our profession and the communities we serve. As RNs and APRNs, we must remain engaged in the political process and continue to advocate for our profession by showing legislators we are unified in supporting legislation that improves access, reduces cost, and advances the profession of nursing. More details are available on both the ISAPN and ANA-Illinois website regarding Nurse Lobby Day.
Again, it was not an easy decision to cancel/alter our plans for our advocacy events of the year. Still, the health and safety of over 1000 student nurses, our nurses, and APRNs, our legislators, the hundreds of workers in the state capital, as well as the communities we serve are our top priority.
We appreciate your patience as we deal with this unprecedented series of events. We ask all to be safe and wash your hands. We look forward to a swift resolution to the crisis and the opportunity to see you all at our events at the end of the year as we continue our celebration of the Year of the Nurse.
In the next several weeks, we will be issuing a refund to all registrants and exhibitors for SNPAD.