April 16, 2024, was a day of learning, networking, and inspiration for student nurses across Illinois. The 2024 Student Nurse Political Action Day (SNPAD) event hosted by ANA-Illinois was a success for all those who attended looking for these experiences! From inspiring words by the Keynote Speaker Marcus Henderson, to hands-on learning seminars designed to build practical skills, SNPAD proved to be a highlight of educational events for Student Nurses.

 

The Highlights of the Day

This year’s SNPAD saw 615 attendees! The Malcolm X College of Nursing brought the largest group of student nurses – 85 future healthcare providers. While the number of attendees may be smaller than the previous years, the impact this event had on those who attended was profound. 

 

Keynote Speaker: Marcus Henderson, MSN, RN

 

As a PhD. Candidate at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Marcus was able to bring a wide range of experiences to his address for SNPAD. His experiences made him incredibly relatable for students, and they found it easy to engage in discussions after his address! 

Marcus talked about how and why he got into nursing. He told the story of how he became a caregiver for family members at a young age, specifically his grandmother. For Marcus, taking on the responsibility of caring for family members with physical and mental health challenges inspired him to pursue nursing. Marcus’s speech centered around the idea that you can make an impact in nursing at any age or experience level. From making a positive impact in your own family to helping others on a daily basis in the healthcare setting. He also stressed to student nurses that they have a right to be heard at any age or experience level. “You have a voice as a young nurse, and you should not be afraid to use it.” 

 

Building Practical Skills: Stop the Bleed

 

Stop the Bleed is a hands-on skills training seminar put on by the Loyola University Medical Center. This event focuses on teaching student nurses fast and practical ways to stop life-threatening bleeding in patients. 

Stop the Bleed had a record number of attendees this year! 106 students participated in this all-important skills training seminar. Students learned the three quick actions they can take to stop bleeding and save a life. 

“You never know when you’ll need to save a life, and we want to empower your student nurses to continue learning beyond their classrooms, just as they do when they attend Student Nurse Political Action Day.” – Amanda Oliver BSN, RN, CCRN, CPST 

 

Braving the Wind – Nurses Marched to the Capitol

At the end of SNPAD, nurses from all over the state joined together to march for the Illinois capitol in Springfield. It was a windy day, making flags flap harder than ever, but despite the rough elements, nurses turned out in incredible numbers to show support for one another. Filling the streets and walking side by side to march for awareness, legislation advancement, and advocacy. 

 

Your Voice Matters. Thank You, Nurses!

Supporting what you believe in is vital to making a difference towards it. By joining marches, attending events, or even just sharing a post on social media, you can bring awareness and support to causes you care about. In the fight for supportive healthcare legislation, every voice matters. Thank you to all the nurses who joined ANA-Illinois on Student Nurse Political Action Day in the march to the Capitol. And thank you to all the nurses who supported us from afar. Your voices matter, and we marched for you. 

Get involved with ANA-Illinois! Join us and make your voice heard.