Event Recap: NBNA Day on Capitol Hill

Feb 19, 2024

nurse practitioner

On Thursday, February 1, 2024 the Pennsylvania Action Coalition had the pleasure of attending the 36th Annual National Black Nurses (NBNA) Day on Capitol Hill with students from the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation's Healthcare Scholars Program (HSP). This year marks an exciting chapter for the Pennsylvania Action Coalition Cohort of Exchanged Learning (PA-ACCEL) Mentorship Program as we are supported by a grant from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation to extend the reach of our mentorship initiatives for nursing students enrolled in their Healthcare Scholars Program.

Healthcare Scholars Program

nurse practitioner

Building upon the success of the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program, we are partnered with the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation to expand mentorship opportunities to students in their Healthcare Scholars Program (HSP). This scholarship initiative supports up to 36 first-year students, covering the entirety of their 2-year or 4-year degree programs at nursing schools participating in the Nurses for Tomorrow grant program. The PA-ACCEL Program Support Team is working with the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation to build out a mentorship program to include development and leadership engagement activities for students receiving the scholarship. 

This strategic partnership aims to enhance the educational journey of nursing students by providing tailored mentorship experiences, fostering meaningful connections, and contributing to their overall professional growth.

The Forum led by the National Black Nurses' Association, Inc. (NBNA) was dedicated to congressional health issues and policy. Students learned about seven key legislative priorities advancing health equity. These legislative topics included: 

  • Inequities in Black Maternal Health
  • Eliminating Health Inequities: Diversifying the Nursing Workforce
  • Implications of Black Infant Mortality
  • Dismantling Structural Racism in Nursing
  • Climate Change: A Catastrophic Health Crisis
  • Gun Violence: America's Epidemic
  • Obesity: America's Calamity

nurse practitioner

The nursing students, along with members of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Black Nurses Association, educated legislators on these advocacy topics. They also had the opportunity to hear from  Congressional Black Caucus members regarding promoting health equity and strengthening health. 

Reflecting on their experience at NBNA Day, Healthcare Scholars Gabrielle Linder and Blessed Masawi from the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), along with Natasha Hampton from Holy Family University, share insights into what they gained from NBNA Day. They discuss their plans for applying these valuable lessons to shape the future of nursing and highlight the most inspiring aspects of attending this event.


HSP Scholars Gabrielle Linder (L) and Blessed Masawi (R)
"Speak up for people - because some people, their voices aren’t heard. Stick up for them so that their needs are also met"
Gabrielle Linder, CCP
HSP Scholars Blessed Masawi (L), Natasha Hampton (Ctr), Gabrielle Linder (R)
"If you don't put yourself out there and ask questions then you’ll never learn."
Natasha Hampton, Holy Family University


Insights from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Black Nurses Association (SEPABNA) 

We had the opportunity to interview members from the Southeastern PA Area Black Nurses Association (SEPABNA) to capture their insights about NBNA Day. Members enthusiastically conveyed their anticipation for NBNA Day, detailing what the event signifies to them. They elaborated on the most inspiring moments they encountered during the day and generously shared advice for nursing students aspiring to engage in health policy.

Our sincere thanks go to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Black Nurses Association (SEPABNA) for offering invaluable professional development opportunities and unwavering support to the student-mentees in the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program. We truly appreciate your commitment to their professional growth and for the invaluable opportunity you've granted our students to interact with esteemed nurse leaders and policy experts, gaining profound insights into the intricacies of health policy development.