Bushnell Nursing Student Stephen Dambrov Advocates for Nursing Education and Health Equity at AACN Student Policy Summit in Washington D.C. 

EUGENE, Ore. – Stephen Dambrov, a Bushnell University nursing student, recently attended the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Student Policy Summit in Washington D.C. Dambrov was inspired to attend the summit to help improve the healthcare system and nursing education in the USA. He expressed his motivation behind attending the summit as supporting both nursing students and nursing schools, promoting health equity, and removing health disparities in the USA.  

“Through networking with health care professionals, students, and policymakers from around the country, as well as attending lectures, I gained a new perspective about these issues,” said Dambrov. 

 During the summit, which was held March 26-27, Dambrov participated in discussions on several key topics related to federal health policy and nursing education. These topics included Title VIII and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) Funding in Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, supporting and advancing the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) act, and promoting higher education policy that is sustainable, inclusive, and innovative. He also attended sessions on advocacy, messaging, and addressing social determinants of health and advancing health equity.  

 Dambrov, along with other AACN Policy Summit attendees, were able to visit Capitol Hill to speak with Oregon Senators and Representatives about specific issues facing the nursing profession in Oregon. They discussed short staffing, supporting Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), student debt, and retaining nursing faculty at schools. They also shared their congressional requests, which included funding for nursing research, investing in nursing education, and supporting sustainable, inclusive, and innovative higher education policy.  

 By attending the summit and visiting Capitol Hill, Dambrov plans to apply the knowledge and skills he gained at the summit to his future career as a nurse and make a difference in shaping federal health policy and nursing education in Oregon and beyond. He aims to advocate for public health, patient and nurse advocacy, nursing school advocacy, and nursing leadership. Additionally, he plans to focus on promoting health equity and removing health disparities.  

 “I learned how AACN supports nursing education,” added Dambrov. “For example, the organization seeks congressional funding for programs such as nursing workforce development, financial assistance for students and faculty, nursing research, and future advancement of academic nursing. Part of my experience at the conference was to meet with members of Congress from Oregon.” 

 The trip to D.C. was an opportunity to learn more about the biggest challenges facing the nursing profession today, including costs, educational debt, educator retention, short staffing in healthcare facilities, fair employee compensation, and promoting preventative and community health.  

Dambrov intends to graduate with his Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in August 2023 and plans to continue advocating for solutions that will make a positive impact on the nursing profession and healthcare system.  

About Bushnell University

Founded in 1895 Bushnell University helps students discover and answer God’s call on their lives. Devoted to offering a Christ-centered environment, Bushnell encourages students to grow in wisdom, informed by faith, and leading to lives of service. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded by pastor-educator Eugene C. Sanderson and pioneer businessman and church leader James A. Bushnell.  

 Bushnell is the largest private university in Eugene’s vibrant university district. The University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies through course formats on campus, online, and evening, as well as online programs for MBA, MA in Leadership, M.Ed., and Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  More information about the University is available at www.bushnell.edu.   


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