SNPAD 2023: A Powerful Day of Political Engagement

On April 18, 2023, student nurses from across Illinois met for the 255h Annual Student Nurse Political Action Day (SNPAD). The event was held at the Bank of Springfield Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois.

This year, SNPAD brought together nearly 600 nursing students from 24 nursing schools for a day of learning, networking, and advocacy. The day’s events and conversations had a lasting impact on nursing students.

“The perspectives of leaders in the field of nursing at the Student Nurse Political Action Day inspired and empowered me and my peers. I personally felt educated on the current issues that nurses face and what it takes to make a difference in the dynamic field of health care. Student Nurse Political Action Day is an exceptionally educational and enlightening experience for any nursing student,” says Jonas Arvin Cosejo Sales, a Northern Illinois University nursing student who will graduate in 2024.

Many Nursing Schools Represented

Of the 24 schools represented, Illinois Wesleyan University had the most students attending! Thank you, Illinois Wesleyan University, for your strong commitment to political action and empowerment! See the full list below.

Generous Sponsors

The event is again supported by a generous gift donated in 2013 by the former Chicago Nurses Association. Sponsorship support also comes from the Illinois Public Health Association. Thank you to these sponsors for helping us make this important event possible!


We appreciate Loyola University Medical Center’s willingness to provide STOP THE BLEED® Hands on Skills training to students and faculty in attendance. Hands on skills classes took place in the morning. Nearly 100 students participated in the workshop!

Advocacy-Focused Programming

The day-long conference featured a keynote address by ANA-Illinois Executive Director Susan Swart, EdD, MS, RN, CAE, called “Human First, Nurse Second – Navigating the Chaos.” Her inspiring and empowering keynote gave practical advice for how new nurses can advocate for themselves and practice self-care in a health care environment.

Later, Debbie Broadfield and Kristen Rubbelke discussed “Hot Topics: What’s Happening in the 103rd General Assembly.” Both Kristen and Debbie work for Capitol Edge Consulting whose president is Sue Clark, a long-respected healthcare lobbyist who is often referred by legislators and staff as the “Voice of Nursing” under the dome. We were honored to have you share with us!

2023 Prize Winners

SNPAD included lots of opportunities to win money and prizes through both contests and drawings.

Additionally, the poster contest winners will have their posters featured in the June issue of the statewide publication The Nursing Voice. Look for posters from Emily Brewer, Jenna Cheek, and Ellaire Barrett of Millikin University, who won $100 for their winning poster. Kayla Watts, also of Millikin University, won $50 for second place.

  • Daisy Whitaker from Millikin University won the photo contest.
  • Lydia Lansaw, Illinois College, won a $500 scholarship.
  • Alexis Wright, Lewis & Clark Community College, won the $100 student giveaway drawing.
  • Queen Kisoso, Olivet Nazarene, won the $100 faculty giveaway drawing.

Illinois Nursing Workforce Center, Chamberlain University, Herzing University, Purdue, Illinois State University, and ANA-Illinois had items that were won in drawings that ranged from Starbucks gift cards to books to backpacks.

Congratulations to all who won, and a big thank you to all who participated! Our warm appreciation to all who made the gifts possible.

March to the Capitol & Rally

After door prizes and winners were announced, student nurses and faculty marched to the Capitol to raise their voices and participate in political action.

“We walked shoulder to shoulder alongside, understanding that our collective voice can make a meaningful difference in the classroom, the workforce, and in the lives of others,” says Jonas Arvin Cosejo Sales.

The rally was the perfect ending to a powerful day.

“SNPAD was a great experience where we not only heard about the bills that will be impacting our career, but how to advocate for ourselves and maybe even fight for our legislation in the future. The day was filled with great speakers, and the march to the Capitol was the cherry on top!” says Faith Sidener, a University of Illinois-Chicago nursing student graduating in May 2023.


We are so grateful to all the student nurses and faculty who attended to learn how they can be engaged in the legislative process and in advocacy work to improve their lives and the lives of their patients. We know that in so many ways, the skills and lessons students learned at SNPAD are just the beginning of a lifetime of essential political action. Your involvement is so important, and we’re so thankful for all of you and all that you do!

2023 List of Colleges Participating

Thank you to the 24 colleges and universities who included the political engagement of their nursing students in their nursing education:

  • Bradley University
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • Graham Hospital
  • Harper College
  • Illinois Eastern Community College
  • Illinois College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Lewis & Clark Community College
  • Lewis University
  • Loyola University Chicago, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
  • Malcolm X – City College of Chicago
  • Methodist College – UnityPoint Health
  • Millikin University
  • Northern Illinois University – School of Nursing
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Purdue University – Northwest
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • South Suburban College
  • Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville
  • John’s College of Nursing
  • UIC College of Nursing – Springfield Campus
  • UIC College of Nursing
  • Western Illinois University

2023 Exhibitors

Many thanks to the following 18 exhibitors for their generous support of SNPAD and student nurses!

  • Blessing Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences
  • Chamberlain University
  • Emergency Nurses Association
  • Herzing University
  • Hospital Sisters Health System
  • HSHS St. John’s College of Nursing
  • IDFPR/Nursing Workforce Center
  • Illinois College
  • Illinois Public Health Association
  • Lewis University
  • Mennonite College of Nursing – Springfield
  • Northern Illinois University School of Nursing
  • Purdue University College of Nursing
  • Student Nurses Association of Illinois
  • University of Illinois Chicago – College of Nursing
  • University of Michigan School of Nursing
  • University of St. Francis
  • Western Governors University