ANACA The Nursing Voice Fall 2019

20  . The Nursing Voice . Fall 2019 Steven G. Pochop Jr., BSN, RN, CPN, DNP Student, University of San Diego Olivia J. Kearnes, BSN, RN, DNP Student, University of San Diego Janelle A. Bird, BSN, RN, DNP Student, University of San Diego What began as an assignment for three doctoral students attending the Universi- ty of San Diego in their health policy course, culminated in a journey that led enduring empowerment resident within the American Nurses Association (ANA). Group projects, a crux of nursing aca- demia and mainstay of team dynamics, are widely frowned upon by those who must endure such assignments. We found ourselves in this situation as we hurriedly glanced down a list of topics from which to choose and subsequently draft a policy revision recommendation to the ANA. Our combined nursing specialties read like the precursor to a poorly written joke. “What do you get when you cross a palliative care nurse, a mental health nurse, and a pediatric nurse?” Humor aside, our group membership and nursing experiences lent themselves to a unique, collaboration paradigm, seemingly perfectly designed yet assigned randomly. Intent on the submission of an expertly crafted propos- al, we chose immunizations as our topic for revision. Its social relevance, coupled with the opportunity to make a signifi- cant impact on public welfare, made it an obvious choice. The challenge of the accomplishment to renovate a vaccine-hesitant culture motivated our efforts. However, we were aware that our endeavor would likely end with an academic grade and no policy change. The grade earned would solidify our second-place effort—a trophy for participation. Students do not change policy nor do they influence the most expansive nursing organization in America to change its policy statement. At least, they did not. We submitted our proposal to the ANA website and our policy revision recommen- dation, designing our presentation to sound like a popular trivia game show syndication. The nearly insurmountable task of choosing answers that elicited only one possible correct response (in the form of a question), envigored our desire for vaccination knowledge and to affect change. After we presented the project and submitted our proposal, it was anticlimactically, over. We received our grade, a consolation prize, and a symbol of our unsuccessful attempt in becoming impactful nurse change-makers. Resigned- ly, we disbanded the group and focused individual efforts towards the preparation needed for our looming pharmacothera- peutics exam. We never expected to receive a callback from the ANA! When the invitation to present our proposed policy revision to the ANA Voting Assembly arrived, the only word descriptive enough to articulate our collective emotion was fear. Not the crippling fear experienced whilst running for our lives away from a rabid mountain lion (that came later), but rather the type of fear that commanded action and activated the sympathetic nervous system to “fight and respond”—like hearing a code blue alarm sound. Although reasonably well-versed USD DNP STUDENTS AT ANA MEMBERSHIP ASSEMBLy 2019