A group crosses the street on Capitol Hill
News Story

Advancing Jesuit Values Through Advocacy

Pictured Above: Students from California and Iowa accompanied by faculty mentor and nursing professor Cindy L. Farley, CNM, PhD, FACNM (third from right).

(April 26, 2023) — Deepening their commitment to the Jesuit values of “people for others” and pursuit of social justice, graduate students from Georgetown’s Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (NM/WHNP) and WHNP programs took to Capitol Hill with a mission to advocate for babies and their parents.

The April 19 Advocacy Day in Washington marked the 22nd time since 2016 that students have spent part of their day learning how to effectively advocate for legislation followed by visits with members of Congress and legislative aides. After mostly virtual visits during the last three years of the COVID-19 pandemic,  47 students from 22 states returned to the Hill and made dozens of in-person visits to Congressional offices.

A large group of nursing students and faculty who participated in Advocacy Day stand together for a photo

After lectures on effective legislative advocacy strategies, 47 students from 22 states left the classroom for Capitol Hill during an advocacy day on April 19 to promote bills that support babies and their parents.

Guided by faculty mentors, the students focused on advocating for three bills that would:

  • Support basic and graduate nursing and midwifery education and training programs, including a focus on diversity;
  • Ensure patient access to health care services by removing outdated Medicare and Medicaid barriers on certified nurse-midwives and other advanced practice registered nurses;
  • Fund birth center startup grants with a specific focus on underserved or rural communities.

“Students continue to report increased confidence, knowledge, skills, interest and enthusiasm for advocacy and policy work after participation in this activity,” says Advocacy Day coordinator Jennifer Gwen Jagger, PhD, MSN, CNM, WHNP, FACNM, adjunct assistant professor and clinical faculty advisor for the midwifery/WHNP program. “Over the years, more than 500 Georgetown midwifery and WHNP students from 49 states have participated in our Advocacy Day activities, and 1,169 offices of federal legislators have been visited or contacted by the students. What an incredible impact these efforts are having.”

Advocacy Day
experiential learning
NM/WHNP Program
nurse midwifery program
people for others
WHNP Program