2022 Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI)

was held this March 21 - 23, 2022 at the Alexandrian Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia

Information regarding NIWI 2023 will be circulated in late December 2022
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NIWI Attendance

NIWI is open to nurses, nursing students, and nursing organization staff leaders that are interested in an orientation to the legislative process. There is not an application or acceptance process to attend NIWI. You just need to register and pay the registration fee. For more information on our scholarships, see below.

NIWI Attendee Benefits

  • We help you develop the confidence to walk into any legislator’s office to advocate for nursing issues
  • Attendees make meaningful connections with legislators to lay the foundation to build an ongoing relationship
  • We connect you to a community of nurse advocates from your state and you attend Hill meetings with your Senators as a group

NIWI Learning Objectives

Nurses who attend the NIWI Conference will have the opportunity to learn:

  • How to be an involved influencer at both the local and national level
  • How to communicate effectively with both legislative staffers and elected officials to advance a policy agenda
  • The specifics of the legislative process from Advocacy, to Lobbying, Campaigning and Giving Testimony
  • What key issues impacting nursing and health care might be of personal interest
  • How to identify who your elected representatives are, how to learn about them, how to schedule a meeting with them, how to communicate with them, and how to influence them

Session Topics

  • The Importance of Legislation, Policy, Campaigning, Lobbying, Testimony, and Advocacy: Looking at the Big Picture
  • Advocacy Session Breakouts, including Advocacy 101 and Advocacy 201 (Advocacy 201 is available for those who may have some experience on Capitol Hill or for those who have attended NIWI before)
  • Introduction & Review of the Asks/Messages for the Hill Visits
  • Effective Strategies for Interacting with Congressional Staff
  • Nursing & Health Policy, A Review of Recent Activity
  • Using Storytelling to Craft a Compelling Ask
  • Role-Playing
  • State Team Breakouts
  • Congressional Staff Panel
  • After the Hill, Advocacy from Home


  • Loretta Jackson Brown, PhD, RN, CNN, Acting Principal Advisor on Diversity, Equity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Accessibility,

    CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
    Dr. Brown has been at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2010. In 2018, she joined the Division of Overdose Prevention where she worked as a senior health communication specialist and led a team responsible for the development of opioid training materials for healthcare providers, collaboration with states to increase health communication related to drug overdose prevention, and creation of national campaigns to support drug overdose prevention. A certified nephrology nurse, Dr. Brown has been a volunteer leader with the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association since 2001. She is a former Southeast Vice President, Board of Directors members, nomination committee chair, and leadership development chair, and currently serves as chair of the association’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee.

  • Ingrida Lusis, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, American Nurses Association (ANA)
    Ingrida Lusis serves as the Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the American Nurses Association.   She has 30 years of experience in all aspects of advocacy including grassroots, political advocacy, and creating successful advocacy campaigns.   Lusis is recognized as an innovative change agent and advocate.

  • Christine Murphy, Senior Director of Policy, American Academy of Nursing
    As a senior public policy and advocacy professional with over 20 years of experience, Christine Murphy specializes in strategic planning, leadership, advocacy, and policy development. Christine currently serves as the Senior Director of Policy where she is responsible for overseeing the policy efforts of the American Academy of Nursing (Academy). This includes working closely with the Academy’s 24 Expert Panels to advance evidence-based health policy innovations to fulfill the organization’s vision of healthy lives for all people.

  • Mary Ellen Richardson, Legislative Director, Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18)
    Mary Ellen Richardson is the Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Darin LaHood (R-IL-18). She has served on the Congressman’s legislative staff since he won a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015 to represent central and west central Illinois. Mary Ellen’s issue responsibilities include agriculture, trade, healthcare, foreign affairs, and national defense and staffing Rep. LaHood on the House Ways and Means Committee. Prior to working for Representative LaHood, Mary Ellen served on the staff of U.S. Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL-6) in both his Illinois and Washington, D.C. offices. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and her J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago - John Marshall Law School.

  • James W. Twaddell, Senior Policy Advisor, Venable LLP
    Jim Twaddell leverages an in-depth understanding of the processes and politics that drive decision-making in Washington, DC to develop and execute effective government relations agendas and campaigns. An experienced lobbyist at the federal level and a former senior staffer in the U.S. Senate, Jim skillfully navigates legislative issues related to healthcare policy, federal appropriations funding, grassroots initiatives, and advocacy training.

NIWI Photos

Conference Schedule
Monday, March 21: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm ET
Tuesday, March 22: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm ET
Wednesday, March 23: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm ET

Click here to view the full schedule at a glance.

Example Registration Fees from 2022


By February 15, 2022

After February 15, 2022




Member of an NOA Organization



Full-Time Student/NSNA Member









Full-Time Student/Not a Member of NSNA





Nursing Contact Hours

This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved for 9.5 contact hours by the Montana Nurses Association, an accredited approver with distinction by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation

Hotel Information - Coming Soon


Conference Cancellation Policy

Any cancellations must be made in writing directly to the Nursing Organizations Alliance. If received by February 25, 2023, The Nursing Organizations Alliance will apply a $50 administrative fee and refund the remainder of the registration fee. After February 25, 2023, no refund will be given. Replacements are always welcome and can be arranged through NOA Headquarters.

For More Information

Please contact NOA Headquarters Offices at 859-469-5802 or [email protected].

Comments from Previous NIWI Participants

Wonderful Conference/Internship. I have learned a lot, I especially have the confidence to approach legislators to ask/request support for the nursing profession.

Excellent opportunity for RNs to learn how easy it is to get involved and take action.
Great conference!  This internship has increased my confidence in how to deal with public policy issues and interact with members of Congress and their staff.

Thank you for this amazing experience.  The speakers were insightful and informative on the current happenings in Washington.  This is an outstanding event!

NIWI Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities are available for the 2022 Nurses in Washington Internship (NIWI) program.

  • The Nursing Organizations Alliance will provide two complimentary registrations

  • In partnership with the Nursing Community Coalition, one full scholarship is being provided. Funding will cover the cost of registration, lodging for up to 3 nights, travel, and other applicable expenses up to $2,000 for NIWI's 2022 conference.

  • Check with your specialty nursing organization. Many national nursing organizations fund scholarships to NIWI each year.

The 2022 NIWI Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI) Scholarship Winners have been announced! 
A copy of the press release announcement can be found here.

                      2019 2020 2021

2021 Scholarships

The recipients of the complimentary registration to NIWI 2021 are:

  • Anne DeLeo, MSN, CRNP, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Nurses. Click here to view Anne's report on NIWI. 
  • Nikule Abel, Nursing Student, Board of Director, of Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a member of the National Association of School Nurses.

The recipients of the 4th Annual Lois Capps Scholarship to NIWI 2021 are:

  • Nicole Schwartz, RN, MSN, GNP-BC - Department of Veterans Affairs, of Santa Cruz, California. She is a member of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA)
  • Tracy Fasolino, PhD, FNP, ACPHN - Associate Professor, Clemson University, of South Carolina. She is a member of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA)

2020 Scholarships

NIWI 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; no scholarships were awarded in 2020. 

2019 Scholarships

The recipients of the full scholarship to NIWI 2019 are:

  • Laurie Combe, MN, RN, NCSN, of Spring, Texas. She is a member of the National Association of School Nurses. Click here to view Laurie's report on NIWI. 

The recipients of the registration scholarships are:

  • Debra Drew, MS, ACNS-BC (retired), RN-BC (retired), AP-PMN, of Maplewood, Minnesota. She is a member of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Click here to view Debra's report on NIWI. 
  • Rachael Viale, MSN, RN, of Sacramento, California. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International. Click here to view Rachael's report on NIWI.

The recipient of the full student scholarship is Ashley Moore, BSN, MS Candidate (2020), of San Francisco, California. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society. Click here to view Ashley's report on NIWI.



On-Site COVID Safety Protocols


The safety of the NIWI attendees is of utmost importance to NOA. NOA is working with the Alexandrian Hotel in Old Town Alexandria to ensure that all safety protocols on the federalstate and local levels are being met and that our attendees feel safe.

 Additional Precautions*

  • The Alexandrian will have hand sanitizer stations located throughout our meeting space. We ask that everyone be extra vigilant in proper hand hygiene.
  • Hand-shaking and hugging should be minimized or avoided.
  • While masks are not currently required for vaccinated persons in Virginia, NOA is strongly encouraging and recommending the use of masks during NIWI regardless of vaccination status.
  • Participants will utilize name badge stickers to indicate comfort level with distancing and masking.
  • We will have reduced numbers seated at each table, allowing for social distancing between participants while seated.
  • Attendees are asked to self-monitor for symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should seek testing and follow-up according to the results.
  • In addition to the waiver completed by all attendees during the online registration process, all attendees will be asked to complete an attestation form in the days leading up to the conference to enhance awareness of potential COVID-19 symptoms. 

NOA is closely monitoring any developments pertaining to COVID-19, the Delta, and the Omicron variant. NOA staff and leadership will make informed decisions about NIWI based on sound information and guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will also coordinate with our host venue, the state of Virginia, and the city of Alexandria. We will make every possible effort to ensure the NIWI conference is preserved and advise you as soon as possible regarding any modifications to the existing plan.

*Precautions are subject to change as conditions evolve.


NOA's Commitment to a Respectful and Courteous Conference Experience

The Nursing Organizations Alliance (NOA) has a zero-tolerance policy for unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. NOA conferences are intended for networking and collaboration in the nursing community. We value the participation of each member of the community and want all attendees to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, all attendees are expected to show respect and courtesy to other attendees throughout the conference and at all conference events, whether officially sponsored by NOA or not.

NOA is dedicated to providing harassment- and discrimination-free conference experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, race, age, or religion. NOA does not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference (without a refund) at the discretion of the conference organizersClick here to view our full conference anti-harassment policy. If you need to report an incident, please use our harassment/discrimination reporting form. Our anti-harassment and discrimination policy can be found by clicking here.